One Pine Bluff police officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay while an investigation continues in the shooting death of a 107-year-old man Saturday afternoon.
Monroe Isadore was shot after he allegedly fired at officers who had responded to a reported disturbance call at 1411 W. 16th Ave., at about 4:25 p.m. Saturday.
Interim Police Chief Jeff Hubanks declined to identify the officer, a member of the department’s SWAT team. Hubanks said two separate investigations are under way, one a criminal investigation, the second an internal investigation to determine if the shooting followed department policy.
Earlier Monday, Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said he would not comment on the incident until he receives a copy of the police investigate file. Hubanks said detectives are working to compile that file. He also said there was “no way to say” how long it will take to complete the investigation.
The incident began when officers were sent to the house in response to a reported disturbance.
Laurie Barlow, 48, told police she had gone to pick up Isadore and take him to a new home that friends and relatives had just finished cleaning up for him.
“Ms. Barlow stated ‘Mr. Isadore was excited all day about moving into the home,’ ” Officer Anthony Kirkpatrick said in the initial police report. “Ms. Barlow stated ‘when she got to the residence Mr. Isadore had locked himself in his room and refused to come out.’ ”
Kirkpatrick said Barlow told him that Isadore’s granddaughter got him to open the door and when Barlow went to talk to him, she said Isadore raised his arm and pointed a gun at her and said “you better stop breaking into my house.”
Kirkpatrick then moved Barlow and another woman who was in the home across the street and waited on other officers to arrive.
According to police, when they approached the door of the room where Isadore was, he fired shots through the door and they backed out and waited on supervisors to arrive.
The SWAT team was also called and arrived while negotiations were ongoing, and a camera confirmed that Isadore was armed with a handgun.
Lt. David Price said in a news release that the SWAT team put gas into the room in an effort to get Isadore to come out and he fired shots at the SWAT officers through a bedroom window. They also threw a distraction device when they entered the bedroom and Isadore fired on the entry team before he was shot and killed.
Despite apparent efforts by police to subdue the elderly man, two people who live in the neighborhood where the incident occurred and were home on Saturday questioned police action.
“They didn’t have to kill him,” said Chelisa Canada, who live across the street from 1411 W. 16th Ave., where the incident occurred. “They could have done something else.”
Canada said police could have waited until Isadore ran out of bullets and then went in after him.
“I think they went in there with the intention of killing him,” she said. “He couldn’t have had that many bullets in his gun.”
Asked how police would have known that Isadore was out of ammunition, Canada said “they were the police. They should have known how many bullets he had.”
Another neighbor, Gregory Wilson, who also lives across the street said “they never should have done that.
“They threw those gas bombs and then all I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow,pow,” Wilson said. “There were SWAT police outside the house, inside the house, all over the place.”
Like Canada, Wilson wondered what kind of weapon Isadore had, offering the theory that it might have been “a rusty .38 (caliber).”
The shooting death was the first in Pine Bluff since May 27 when Carol Baker was killed on the parking lot of the Lakeview Apartments at 509 W. Barraque St., and was the 10th of the year in Pine Bluff.
Police have made arrests in eight of those deaths.