Officer justified in fatal shooting at Little Rock shopping center, prosecutors say

Posted: October 26, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

Little Rock police investigate an officer-involved shooting on Feb. 24, 2017.

A Little Rock police sergeant has been cleared in the fatal shooting of a 44-year-old man earlier this year, according to the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney’s office.

Little Rock police Sgt. Angela Everett was working off-duty in February when she shot and killed 44-year-old Gregory Childress in the parking lot of the shopping center at 9108 N. Rodney Parham Road. Police say Childress attempted to rob Everett and fired a weapon at her before she returned fire, fatally hitting him.

Everett was a detective at the time of the shooting and has since been promoted to sergeant, according to department spokesman officer Steve Moore.

John Johnson, chief deputy prosecutor in the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney’s office, said the office has ruled that Everett’s use of force was justified. He said a letter was sent last week informing the Little Rock Police Department that the prosecuting attorney’s office reviewed the facts and circumstances of the case and found it to be justified.

Johnson declined to discuss the specifics of the case. He said four to six senior lawyers within the office reviewed the investigative case file. According to Johnson, the case file received the same treatment and scrutiny as any other homicide case.

“There’s no preferential treatment that’s given,” Johnson said.

In the lead-up to the fatal shooting, Everett exited the state Revenue Office at 9108 N. Rodney Parham Road on Feb. 24 and walked to her unmarked police car with bank bags, according to a statement released by the Police Department after the shooting.

A silver SUV-type vehicle “rapidly” approached her, the statement said. Everett said the vehicle parked and a passenger exited carrying a handgun and wearing a mask, according to the statement.

The statement said the passenger, later identified as Childress, went toward Everett and fired his weapon, hitting the detective’s vehicle. The department said Everett returned fire and fatally shot Childress, who died at the scene.

Police said the SUV-type vehicle fled the scene and was later found at 1801 Reservoir Road, less than a mile away from the shopping center.

Arkansas law states that a law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly force to defend himself or another person from what an officer “reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.”

According to the state statute, a law enforcement officer can use deadly force to prevent the escape of an arrested person that the officer “reasonably believes” is armed or dangerous and has committed a felony or has tried to commit a felony.

As of Tuesday, there have been six shootings involving Little Rock police this year, including the shooting involving Everett.

Childress’ brother, Durrell Ray Childress, was convicted over 20 years ago in the killing of veteran Little Rock police officer Henry Callanen, according to Lt. Steve McClanahan, a former Police Department spokesman who earlier this year confirmed the relationship between the two men.

On May 15, 1993, Callanen, 62, was fatally shot during a robbery while working an off-duty job at a McDonald’s on West Roosevelt Road, according to news reports at the time.

Callanen, a 35-year police veteran, was carrying cash receipts to his vehicle after the McDonald’s closed, according to the news reports.

A jury found Durrell Childress, who was 17 at the time of the crime, guilty of capital murder and aggravated robbery, according to online court records. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in April 1994 and is currently housed at the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker.

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