03/25/2007

Ark. officer, woman fatally shot; suspect takes own life

The Associated Press

Officer Down: Daniel Martinez
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FORT SMITH, Ark. - A Fort Smith police officer was killed while helping a mother retrieve her child from a residence where she previously had a run in with her ex-boyfriend.

Officer Daniel C. Martinez, 33, who had served as a police officer in Oklahoma many years before joining Fort Smith police, was shot in the head Friday evening and Donna Stevens, 22, was shot in the back, shoulder and elbow, police spokesman Sgt. Jarrard Copeland said Saturday.

Richard Englebright, 26, the suspect and the brother of Stevens' former boyfriend, fled from the home in a car and killed himself before Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers found him near Spiro, Okla., Copeland said.

Martinez was taken to Sparks Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Stevens, who was shot as she was running from the house, was taken to St. Edward Mercy Medical Center before being air lifted to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock. Stevens' grandmother took the baby into her care, Copeland said.

Stevens was listed in serious condition Saturday, hospital spokesman Jon Parham said.

Copeland said Stevens and her ex-boyfriend, Bobby Englebright, 24, had had a dispute earlier Friday at the residence, and he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and battery. He was jailed in the Sebastian County Jail, Copeland said.

About 9:24 p.m. that same day, Martinez was dispatched to the home to help Stevens, who had asked for an officer to accompany her while she picked up her baby. Martinez met Stevens in a parking lot next to the residence, and they walked to the front door.

Richard Englebright came to the door, told them to wait a minute, then shut the door, Copeland said. Englebright then returned with a 9mm handgun and shot the police officer, then shot Stevens, Copeland said. Richard Englebright fled in a black Dodge Neon toward Arkoma, Okla.

Kera Philippi, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said Trooper Mason Brooks got a description of the suspect's car and realized he was behind it on Oklahoma 9 near Spiro. Brooks called for backup and was getting ready to stop the suspect's car, when it turned onto a road and stopped, Philippi said.

Brooks turned on his emergency lights and was getting out of his patrol car when he heard a gunshot and saw the driver's side window of Englebright's car shatter, Philippi said. The officers found Englebright shot in the head, Philippi said.

Martinez had served for several years with the Poteau and Panama police departments in Oklahoma before becoming police chief in Shady Point and taking the same job in Wister, both also in Oklahoma. He joined the Fort Smith Police Department on July 3.

Martinez is survived by his wife, Alice, and five children.

 

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