Pine Bluff man shot, second arrested after shooting incident

A Pine Bluff man was shot and a second man arrested after an alleged altercation Saturday night inside the Speedway Convenience Store at 1420 S. Cherry St.

Michael Chidester, 29, received a gunshot wound to the right thigh and was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center after the incident, which occurred at 11:20 p.m.

Toran Conaway, 21, who was arrested, told police in an interview that “he didn’t try to shoot Chidester,” Detective William Freeman said in a probable-cause affidavit presented in court Monday.

According to the affidavit, a witness told police that a fight broke out inside the store between Chidester and Conaway over beer that was not paid for.

Freeman said in the affidavit that Conaway allegedly punched Chidester in the face, and Chidester hit Conaway across the head with a bottle he was holding. Conaway then allegedly reached inside his pants, pulled out a gun and fired one shot, striking Chidester. Conaway then left the store.

Witnesses reported hearing four additional shots outside the store.

Freeman said in the affidavit that officers were not able to interview Chidester after the shooting because he had been medicated. The wound was believed to be non-life threatening.

At the request of Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $50,000 bond for Conaway after ruling that prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with first-degree battery.

Kearney also ordered Conaway to have no contact with Chidester until the case is settled.

The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Conaway.