Military recruiter killed in Arkansas shooting

June 1, 2009
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A new soldier helping to attract others to the military was shot and killed outside an Army recruiting office today and a second soldier was wounded, and a suspect was arrested, police said.

A man inside a black vehicle pulled up outside the Army-Navy recruiting office in west Little Rock and opened fire about 10:30 a.m., said police Lt. Terry Hastings.

The two soldiers were outside the office when they were shot. They were taken to a hospital, where one died.

The vehicle was stopped on Interstate 630 a short time later and a suspect was taken into custody. Hastings said the suspect pulled over and surrendered without incident. Police found an assault rifle in the vehicle.

Hastings said investigators had not yet questioned the suspect. Hastings said he did not know whether the recruiting office was specifically targeted or randomly chosen.

Authorities did not immediately identify the victims or the suspect.

As a precaution, police called in a bomb squad after packages were found in the vehicle. Hastings said a robot would be used to open the packages.

Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion, which oversees the Little Rock office, said the victims had just completed basic training and were not regular recruiters. He said they were serving two weeks in the Little Rock office.

As part of the Hometown Recruiting Assistance Program, the soldiers were sent to "talk to friends, folks in the local area. They can show the example, ‘Here's where I was, and here is where I am,'" Artis said.

Artis said neither of the soldiers had been deployed for combat.

Eight other people work in the Little Rock recruiting office, including one civilian, he said.

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