Fort Smith Shooting Suspect Turns Himself Into Police

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- An arrest has been made in a Fort Smith overnight shooting, Cpl. Tony Rice said.

Tadereo Thomas, 35, turned himself into police at the department on Tuesday (Nov. 14). Thomas is facing charges of first degree battery and a felon in possession of a firearm. He's being held at the Sebastian County Detention Center without bond.

Tadareo Thomas

The shooting occurred overnight in the 4700 block of Wirsing Ave., Rice said.

Rice said Cecil Gardner, Jr., 34, was shot twice and taken to a local hospital by an acquaintance. His father tells 5NEWS Gardner, Jr. is fighting for his life at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.

"It's like a bad dream," said the victim's father Cecil Gardner IV. "That's my first son."

Gardner IV said his son and Thomas were childhood friends.

"It was really just hard to believe," Gardner IV said. "It was hard to understand why would he shoot my son when they were together everyday."

Police said Thomas shot the 34-year-old victim twice.

Cecil Gardner, Jr.

"I don't know what happened," Gardner IV said. "But I know he shot my son in the chest and in the leg. I mean, you shoot more than one time, you shoot to kill."

Gardner, Jr.'s father said his son had a 50/50 chance of making it through surgery Tuesday morning, and now he is having complications.

"His lungs stopped working, so they have him on life support and now they have to send him to Little Rock [on Wednesday]," he explained.

Gardner, Jr. also has a 2-year-old son and three younger siblings who are all praying for his recovery.

This is a developing story and we will update this post as we learn more information.