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Guard fatally shot in Arkansas jail: Authorities

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Guard fatally shot in Arkansas jail: Authorities

Misty Severi

June 23, 10:00 PM June 23, 10:00 PM

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A drug bust suspect fatally shot a correctional officer Wednesday evening in Perryville, Arkansas, while the man was being processed at the Perry County jail, authorities said.

Roderick Deshawn Lewis, 37, was being processed for a drug and paraphernalia charge when he fired a gun and hit 21-year-old detention officer Jeremiah Story, who was standing inside a jail bathroom as Lewis was changing out of his civilian clothes, according to a press release from state police. “The gun reportedly used by Lewis was one he possessed when he arrived at the jail in the custody of local sheriff’s deputies,” the statement added.

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Lewis was charged on Thursday with capital murder, and if convicted, he could face a life sentence or death penalty. Arkansas has not executed anyone since 2017, according to the website Verdict Justia. Arkansas State Police’s Criminal Investigation Division is leading the investigation into the jailhouse shooting.

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Lewis was already slated to face trial in November on charges of aggravated assault against a household member or family member and interference with emergency communication in connection with an event last year, according to court documents.

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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge offered her condolences to Story’s family in a news release on Thursday.

“Every day, our men and women in blue put on their badge with a desire to pursue justice, no matter the cost,” Rutledge said, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Arkansas is blessed to have dedicated officers who always answer the call to serve their community.”

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