Suspect killed by police after shooting at Riceland

A suspect was shot and killed by police Saturday in Jonesboro after a series of events that began with the suspect shooting another person at Riceland Foods.

Around 10:30 Saturday morning, Jonesboro officers were called to the scene of a shooting at Riceland Foods located in the 200 block of Gee St. They arrived to find a gunshot victim in one of the buildings. Officers rendered aid until EMS could arrive and transport the victim to an area hospital. The victim suffered serious wounds, police said.

An employee was identified as a person of interest and a description of the suspect and suspect vehicle was broadcast. The vehicle was identified and located in the area a short time later. Officers attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle. The suspect did not comply and continued to drive at low speeds. Officers proceeded to pursue the driver of the vehicle through the downtown area. At least two JPD units were intentionally damaged by the fleeing suspect, police said in a release. Other agencies responded to assist.

The suspect’s vehicle traveled through the Nettleton area and a pit maneuver was performed by ASP on a bridge on I555, near Hwy 63B, stopping the vehicle. Officers shouted commands to the suspect but he refused to comply, the release said. The suspect barricaded himself inside the vehicle and began firing on the officers, authorities said, leading to multiple agencies returning fire, killing the suspect. No other injuries were reported.

Arkansas State Police released the name of the suspect. Walter Antreall Joyce, 45, of Memphis, was shot and killed.

The Jonesboro Police Department is investigating the initial shooting that occurred at Riceland Foods. The Arkansas State Police will be investigating the officer involved shooting.

Riceland Foods issued a press release Saturday afternoon on the shooting:

Employee Altercation at Riceland’s Jonesboro Facility

JONESBORO, Ark. (June 4, 2022): A Riceland employee was shot by another employee at the Jonesboro facility at approximately 10:30 A.M. Saturday, June 4, 2022. First responders were called and have transferred the injured employee to a local hospital. The severity of the injuries is not known at this time.

Riceland President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Brancel expressed his condolences regarding the incident.

“Our employee team is an extension of our family,” Brancel said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our team members and their families during this tragic time.”

Riceland is cooperating with local authorities on the investigation. Firearms are prohibited on all Riceland properties.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver issued a statement on the events as well.

“This morning a gunman attacked a person at the Riceland Foods campus, then led police on a chase that ended on a bridge over I-555. The suspect fired on our police officers and state troopers, who returned fire and killed the shooter.
“No officers were injured and the victim at Riceland was treated by JPD officers until EMS arrived. I am hopeful the worker will be able to make a full recovery.
“As mayor, I want to commend Jonesboro Police and the State Police for doing the most difficult part of their job so professionally. In all situations they must put the lives of others ahead of their own, and I am humbled and honored by their diligence and dedication to keeping the residents of Jonesboro safe.”

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver

Photo courtesy JPD

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