North Little Rock man killed in shooting; death is city’s third homicide in 5 days

Posted: September 3, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

North Little Rock police officers are investigating the city's third homicide in less than a week, the most recent of which left one man dead and another with life-threatening gunshot wounds early Sunday, authorities said.

Just before 5 a.m. Sunday, police arrived at the 800 block of Healy Street on the southwest side of town where a shooting had been reported, according to a news release from the department.

Corey Tramel Edwards, 36, was already dead from a gunshot wound, police said. Sandford Slater Jr., 31, had also been shot, and an ambulance rushed him to a hospital, where he was still receiving treatment for what department spokesman Sgt. Amy Cooper called life-threatening injuries.

Little else has been released about the shooting.

Healy Street was calm by Sunday afternoon, save for a crowd of people who spoke quietly among themselves near a half-dozen cars parked where the shooting occurred. The street is narrow, and one-story houses sit side by side with little room in between.

Kenneth Ware, who has lived on Healy Street for more than 20 years, said the neighborhood is filled with families and children. Bad things rarely happen there, he said.

"Normally, this street is quiet," Ware said. "This, what happened here, it doesn't happen."

Ware said he woke up to police lights outside his window just after 5 a.m. Sunday. Not knowing what was going on, Ware said he stayed inside and watched for a few minutes through his window.

"They said he was lying on the ground," Ware said. "I couldn't see anything but the cars."

The cars parked just a few houses down and across the street from Ware's home were all family and friends of the victims, he said, and they'd been there most of the morning.

Samantha Hunt, who only moved to Healy Street a year ago, said so many cars had lined the little street that she hadn't been able to leave her home all morning.

Hunt said she heard the ambulance Sunday morning, but never heard the gunshots. An elderly woman down the street has from time to time needed emergency transport to a hospital, and that's what Hunt said she originally assumed the lights meant.

When she went outside in the morning and saw all of the cars, however, Hunt said she knew something must be wrong.

"It's scary because it's close to home," she said. "It's too close to home."

The shooting on Healy Street was the third homicide in only five days.

Joseph Lee Venson, a 47-year-old construction worker from Jacksonville, was stabbed at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday, and police found him bleeding on the pavement of West 11th Street near Pike Avenue, according to police reports.

Venson was pronounced dead at Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock at approximately 2:15 a.m.

A 911 caller told police that a group of people were yelling and disturbing the peace, but Venson was alone by the time officers arrived, Lt. Brian Dedrick said last week.

The department had not publicly identified a suspect in that homicide as of Sunday evening. On West 11th Street, someone had placed a bundle of purple, fabric flowers next to the road. The four balloons tied to the bouquet had wilted and drifted close to the ground by Sunday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours after Venson's stabbing and across town, Andre Rodgers was stabbed to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

Officers arrested a suspect in Rodgers' death and said the man -- Leslie Montgomery, 49 -- confessed to being involved in the stabbing. Officers charged Montgomery with first-degree murder, along with methamphetamine and cocaine possession charges, and transported him to the Pulaski County jail, where he remained Sunday without bail set.

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Metro on 09/03/2018