Yell County, AR - Yell County Sheriff's Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart was murdered during a traffic stop on Thursday, May 11.
According to CNN, Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart was enroute to a disturbance call Thursday morning when he saw a vehicle believed to be associated with the incident. He pulled the vehicle over about 7:18 AM on State Highway 27 near Slo Fork Road.
During the traffic stop, Lieutenant Mainhart was murdered by the suspect, James Bowden. He was found by a passing motorist, who called in that a deputy had been shot. He was transported to a local hospital where he died.
Unbeknownst to Lt. Kevin Mainhart, Bowden had already murdered two females who have not been identified. Bowden later took hostages and barricaded himself inside a residence in a standoff situation but has since surrendered. He is being charged with three counts of capital murder.
Lt. Kevin Mainhart, age 46, was a five-year veteran of the Yell County Sheriff's Department. He had retired from the West Memphis Police Department as a Captain after a more than 20-year career, according to WJLA. He moved to Yell County to be closer to his family.
Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey said that Lt. Mainhart was 'respected and was a leader among his colleagues.' He said:
"He was an extraordinary example of what a law enforcement officer should be. He had a great work ethic. He was fair-minded. He was also a great father and a husband, as well as a great friend to all of us in law enforcement and the community."
In a statement, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said:
"Tonight, we send our deepest sympathies to the family of Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier today. Lieutenant Mainhart's 25-year career in law enforcement in West Memphis and Yell County made Arkansas a safer place. Our thoughts, prayers and gratitiude are with the Mainhart family and all those who put their own lives in danger to serve and protect."
Lt. Mainhart leaves behind a wife and two sons.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Yell County Sheriff's Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart, both blood and blue.
Lieutenant Mainhart, your life mattered.