FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Several elected leaders came out to show their support for slain Officer Stephen Carr.
While family members and friends of Officer Carr spoke today at his funeral, so did some of our state leaders.
Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke about how he had given words of encouragement to Officer Carr when he first joined the force.
Hutchinson was the keynote speaker at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy Graduation less than two and a half years ago and Officer Carr was one of the graduates he was addressing.
He told the graduates they and their fellow officers hold a special place in the community and as police officers, they have the responsibility to keep us safe and uphold the rule of law and to treat each person they encounter with respect.
“Stephen Carr did all of that an more. He fulfilled his duties with integrity, professional and a genuine love of people. The state of Arkansas could not be more grateful of his service and all Arkansans grieve with Stephen Carr’s family for the loss we all feel,” Hutchinson said.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also spoke at the service and told the congregation that children in future generations will always have a hero in Officer Carr.
She said Officer Carr had no idea he was putting on his uniform and badge for the last time Saturday night, but he knew the dangers of his career path. She said he didn't hesitate, he didn't waver, he just went to work.
“Though the evil act committed against this good man was sudden, God endured justice was swift. Officer Carr’s sacrifice will be forever etched on all of our hearts and we know that we have another angel with blue wings looking over all of us,” Rutledge said.
Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the Senate Floor:
Stephen Carr has been described by friends as a “gentle giant” and “all-American boy”: He enjoyed hunting and fishing, played on the offensive line at Southwest Baptist University, and came up in a law-enforcement family. He always knew he wanted to be a police officer.
So it was little surprise when Stephen joined the Fayetteville Police Department two and a half years ago. Officer Carr served his community with professionalism and valor for those two and a half years as a patrol officer in the Dicksen Street entertainment district.
Sadly, Officer Carr was in his patrol car Saturday night when he was ambushed by a gunman looking for an officer to kill.
Carr’s fellow police heard gunshots and responded to the scene within seconds. With little regard for their own safety, they pursued the gunman down an alley. When confronted, they met force with force—and took him down.
The whole incident took just minutes from start to finish. Emergency services were on the scene within an instant. But despite their best efforts, they couldn’t save Officer Carr. He succumbed to his wounds on the scene, as did his killer. Officer Carr was only 27 years old.
This tragedy reminds us of the terrible risks officers face every day when they put on the uniform and the badge, not knowing whether they’ll be alive to take it off that night. Already this year, 118 officers across America have been killed in the line of duty. Some were the victims of random tragedies. Others, like Officer Carr, were targeted by a criminal class that hates what the police represent: Law and order.
Since Officer Carr’s killing, two more officers have fallen in the line of duty. Detective Joseph Seals, a 15-year veteran of the Jersey City Police Department, was shot to death while approaching two suspected killers. Sergeant Kaila Sullivan, a 16-year veteran of the Nassau Bay Police Department, was struck and killed by a fleeing suspect in a vehicle.
All these fallen officers will be remembered as heroes. In Arkansas especially, we’ll remember Officer Carr, whose watch ended on December 7th, 2019. May he rest in peace.
Click here to watch Senator Cotton's full speech.