Traffic stops are never straight forward. Often, they are one the main catalysts for larger confrontations between officers and suspects.
Traffic Stop Gone Wrong
In 2010, two West Memphis Police officers were shot and killed while executing a traffic stop on Interstate 40. Sergaent Brandon Paudert and Offcier Bill Evans were both shot and killed during the stop.
The suspects took off and were seen 90 minutes later. The two suspects ended up in a Walmart parking lot.
There they got into a firefight with Sheriff Cisk Busby and Chief Deputy W.A. Wren, who used their car to stop the suspects from getting away again.
Except it was not a fair fight. The officers had their handguns, while the suspects were armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun, both the officers were wounded.
Stopping the Suspects
Officer Neal arrived onsite ramming the suspect’s vehicle with his truck. As he rammed their van, they fired AR-47 rounds at him.
Neal was not hit by the rounds and fired back at the suspects with his department-issued AR-15. He emptied a full 30 round magazine. He was able to stop the driver of the van.
He was not sure if he had stopped the passenger. He backed up his truck so he was no longer in the line of fire.
By that time, he was just firing with his handgun. More than 30 other officers arrived at that point.
They boxed in the suspect’s van. In the end, over 260 rounds were fired. None of the additional officers nor any of the bystanders in the parking lot were injured.
The two suspects were declared dead at the scene. Officer Neal saved the lives of Sheriff Busby and Deputy Wren by his brave actions. Both of the officers were injured by the suspects.
Officer Neal sustained slight minor injuries in the altercation. Neal was awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor. He was also named 2010 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.