1 dead, a dozen believed shot in overnight Pine Bluff shootings

1 dead, a dozen believed shot in overnight Pine Bluff shootings

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One person is dead and as many as 12 were shot in multiple overnight shootings in Pine Bluff, one of them involving a police officer, according to law enforcement officials.

Pine Bluff Police Department Interim Chief Lloyd Franklin Sr. said Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation at the Sahara Temple, 820 S. Main St., where one person died. Franklin said as many as eight people were hurt in the shooting, but their conditions were not immediately known.

Franklin deferred other details of the incident to Arkansas State Police.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said that police were called to the Sahara Temple after a shooting inside. When police arrived, an officer shot someone in a confrontation outside the temple, Sadler said.

The Sahara Temple belongs to fraternal organization the Sahara Shriners and can be rented for events.

Sadler said State Police would investigate the officer’s use of force. The person shot by the officer had been treated and released from the hospital by Sunday afternoon, Sadler said.

Four more people were shot at the intersection of University Drive and Pullen Avenue, Franklin said. Details on that shooting were forthcoming, he said.

A motive for either shooting is not yet known, Franklin said.

“We had as many officers out as available and they were working in different areas and establishments to avoid stuff like that,” Franklin said. “At one point, state police agreed to occupy University Drive until 10 p.m. We didn’t want to stop the flow of traffic so that people going to the concert could make it to the Convention Center.”

Recording artists SWV and Eric Benet performed at the Pine Bluff Convention Center on Saturday night.

Residents and visitors of the city were celebrating University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff homecoming across the city Saturday. A crowd of people, along with vehicles and food trucks, lined both sides of University Drive going north from the intersection following the football game at Simmons Bank Field, a typical homecoming post-game scene.

Information from The Pine Bluff Commercial was used in this report.

CORRECTION: Due to incorrect information from a law enforcement official, a previous version of this story gave incorrect information about the person who was shot by a police officer.

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