At an afternoon news conference, police identified both the officer (Donna Lesher) and the victim (Eugene Ellison, 67). A second officer involved in the incident, Tabitha McCrillis, was also identified. Police say they are on administrative leave while two investigations are being conducted.
Thursday night's incident happened around 8 o’clock at the Big Country Chateau Apartments at 6200 Colonel Glenn Road, just west of University Avenue.
Police say Officer Lesher shot Ellison twice after he began fighting with her and partner McCrillis, in the doorway of his apartment. Ellison allegedly had one officer in a choke hold then grabbed the other's nightstick before grabbing a heavy wood walking cane and charging at them. When he swung the cane at the officers and refused to drop it, police say he was shot in the chest and died after being taken to the hospital.
The officers both had minor injuries and were treated and released at Baptist Hospital. Lesher is a Patrol Officer who has been with the LRPD since 1994, and McCrillis is a Juvenile Detective who joined the force in 2005.
The incident began, police say, as Lesher and McCrillis, who were off-duty but in uniform, patrolled the apartments and noticed Ellison's open door. When they went to check it out, they encountered a trembling Ellison, who allegedly then became combative.
KARK 4 has learned that Ellison is the father of an undercover officer now on the force.
According to the police report, the officers used pepper spray during the scuffle with Ellison. However, Pulaski County Coroner Garland Camper disputes that.
Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings stresses that Camper is wrong and believes the full autopsy will prove that.