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PINE BLUFF -- Matthew Mellor, an elementary school principal in the Pulaski County Special School District, was in recovery after surgery Monday morning in a Pine Bluff hospital after he and another person were shot in that city Sunday afternoon.

Mellor, 48, is the principal of Lawson Elementary School in west Pulaski County. He previously served as Daisy Bates Elementary's principal.

District leaders were notified of Mellor's injuries Sunday night.

According to a report from the Pine Bluff Police Department, Mellor and another man, identified as 56-year-old Dennis Bradley, were shot by an unknown assailant behind the Car-Mart car lot near Blake Street in Pine Bluff. Officers were flagged down by Bradley, the report said, who had been shot in his right hand. Mellor had gunshot wounds in his left and right sides.

Bradley, according to the report, told police he had been negotiating on Facebook Marketplace with an unknown black man who said he was selling a vehicle. Bradley said the unknown man texted him an address, 4223 W. Fifth Ave. in Pine Bluff, where he said he could see the vehicle, but when Bradley and Mellor arrived, neither the man nor the vehicle were there. He told police the man then texted him another address one street over on West Fourth Avenue, and when they arrived, he said the man got into the car with them and directed them to 5th Avenue and Oleander Street behind Car-Mart, telling them that his uncle was with the vehicle at Car-Mart.

Bradley told police that when they arrived, the man got out of the car and pointed a small, black handgun at them, and said "give me the money." Bradley said he then pulled his own handgun and pointed it at the man, who then fired several times and fled on foot.

The district's communication staff sent an email message to district employees Monday about the situation: "Good morning, Some of you may have heard but I wanted to share this message with all PCSSD staff. Lawson principal, Mr. Matt Mellor was shot yesterday (Sunday) in Pine Bluff. He is out of surgery and is recovering. Our prayers are with Mr. Mellor, his family and our Lawson family."

The Pulaski County Special School District will appoint a substitute principal to Lawson Elementary, spokesman Jessica Duff said late Monday afternoon. Today is the first day of the 2019-20 school year in the district.

State Desk on 08/13/2019

Print Headline: Central Arkansas elementary school principal shot in holdup

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