LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A community comes together to honor a public servant whose life was cut short. The streets of Stuttgart filled with people just wanting to show they care after the death of Sergeant Donald Scoby as his body was returned home with officers leading his procession to his final trip home.
Officials with the Arkansas State Police confirmed Thursday morning that an overnight car chase led to the deadly shooting of Stuttgart police officer Sergeant Donald Scoby.
According to the ASP, two Stuttgart officers were involved in a chase around 11 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers stated that the suspect, 31-year-old Jacob Cole Barnes, stopped the car near Rieger Road and fled.
As the officers ran after Barnes, ASP officials believe that he shot and killed Scoby. The other officer was hit in his bullet proof vest but wasn’t injured, officials said.
On Friday, officers from across the state led Scoby’s procession through the downtown area for his final trip to Stuttgart. Kim Bethea who is a business owner downtown says when she stood outside waiting everyone was emotional.
“I don’t think there was a dry eye on the street,” said Bethea.
She says the community really came together to honor Scoby.
“It was incredibly moving but heart breaking at the same time but such a tribute,” said Bethea.
Bethea says it saddened her when she heard about the shooting and made her think of those on the front line.
“Those officers are men and women who put themselves on the line everyday and I think so much we take that for granted,” said Bethea.
She says because the town is small and a lot of them come into her shop, she has felt the weight of the town’s loss.
“While this is supposed to be a really merry time because we are in the christmas season I think there’s been few words and more of the feeling of a cloud just a heavy sadness,” said Bethea.
However, she says in these sad times, she believes the tribute was a symbol of hope.
“We all were gathered to pay our respects and be supportive and it all felt like we were one,” said Bethea.
As for Stuttgart native Christen Moss who was also at the procession, she says she also felt how everyone lend on eachother.
“I thought it was a lovely tribute, lovely tribute for him and his family,” said Moss.
Bethea says she also felt like it was important to be there and show her support for the family
“I can’t imagine not being out there to make sure all of those officers and family members feel the concern people have for them,” Bethea.
State troopers stated that Barnes entered a home in the 500 block of Rieger Road after the chase. Officials stated that a woman barricaded herself inside the home but was safely removed by special agents shortly before 7 a.m.
Moments after Barnes entered the home, ASP officials stated that Barnes shot and injured a state police SWAT team member. The state trooper was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Special agents stated that Barnes was killed during an exchange of gunfire with SWAT team members.