As police continue their investigation into a series of robberies at dollar stores and gas stations over the past several weeks, they have arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the incidents.
Keyvis Eugene McCoy, 23, turned himself in Monday, according to Lt. David Price, and is being held at the adult detention center on probable cause of aggravated robbery, pending an appearance in court. Police have not said how he is connected to the incidents or to the other suspects.
Meanwhile, three of the four men arrested Friday after the robbery of the Family Dollar at 3000 W. 28th Ave. made their initial court appearance Monday.
Jerome Pridgeon, 20, Jeffrey Freeman, 20, and Robert Jordan, 22, appeared before Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney, who found probable cause to hold them on one count of aggravated robbery. According to Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer, police believe they were involved in the other robberies that occurred in late November and early December.
The fourth suspect, Samuel Freeman, 23, was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center after he was shot by officers when they confronted him coming out of the store and he allegedly pointed a gun at them.
According to a probable cause affidavit from Detective Jacqueline Stevenson, Samuel Freeman was shot in the shoulder.
In a statement released after the arrests Friday, Lt. David Price said the department had formed a robbery task force that included assistance from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police in an effort to deal with the robberies. Task force officers were conducting surveillance at a number of locations, including the Family Dollar store on 28th Aveneue, when they saw two men go in the store and a third stand outside.
Price said the officers assumed a better tactical position so they could confront the men when they left the store and also to avoid a possible hostage situation.
When they men came out, they were confronted by the task force officers, and after Samuel Freeman was shot, one of the other suspects ran and jumped into a black Honda Accord that was driving down West 29th Avenue. Officers were able to get a license plate number and when that vehicle was stopped, it contained Jordan and Pridgeon. Jeffery Freeman was caught after an extensive ground search.
Stevenson said in the affidavit Samuel Freeman was wearing a green Halloween face mask and a revolver was located a short distance from where he fell after being shot. Officers also located a mesh backpack containing money that had been taken from the store.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting are being withheld pending an investigation into the incident by both the Arkansas State Police and the department’s Internal Affairs Division. Those officers were placed on administrative leave with pay.
During the court hearing Monday, Kearney set a $100,000 cash-only bond for Jordan, who Kizer said is on probation on burglary and theft charges.
Bond for Pridgeon and Jeffery Freeman was set at $500,000 each. Kizer said neither of the two had any pending charges or prior convictions.