February 11, 2020
What better way to start the week than a black Walmart shootout?
No human deaths this time, either.
Two officers are recovering after being shot inside a local Walmart Monday morning.
Police were called to the Walmart in Forrest City to assist with a man who was acting strange and threatening people, according to officials.
Once the two officers arrived, they confronted the suspect, who St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May identified as Bobby Joe Gibbs. He pulled out a gun and shot both officers, officials said. Both officers returned fire and shot and killed Gibbs, according to the sheriff.
“Want to thank officers for expedient time getting out there,” said Forrest City Mayor Cedric Williams. “Could’ve been whole lot worse.”
One of the officers, Detective Eugene Watlington, was shot four times. He was taken to Regional One, was in critical condition and underwent surgery.
FOX13 was at Regional One when Detective Watlington arrived at the hospital for care.
Lt. Eric Varner was also shot. He was taken to Forrest City Medical Center for treatment.
“Unfortunately that’s the business we are in and the guys know the risks and work for the challenge,” said Forrest City Police Chief Deon Lee.
“Due to their heroicism and quick response that no civilians were injured,” Williams said.