Story below published Sunday, May 4, 2014. Contributing reporters Trey Stafford, Jim Frigo, Paul Carter
The complete audio from today’s news conference with Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates can be heard by clicking the audio icon at the bottom of this story.
Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates says the person suspected of shooting seven people before killing himself in Jonesboro Saturday had been released from a mental institution last Wednesday. 40-year-old Porfirio S. Hernandez was found dead in a vehicle on a rural Craighead County Road (originally identifed as CR 642 during Forman news conference Saturday, today Yates identified as CR 664) Saturday afternoon from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. Police had been searching for Hernandez after he was identified as the sole suspect in a flurry of shootings that included six people at a home on Moore Road in East Jonesboro and a seventh person at a construction site on Dalton Farmer Road. A total of 4 people were killed, including Hernandez. 4 others were injured, 3 of them critically.
Yates identified those shot on Moore Road as 38-year-old Crisanto Islas (Hispanic male identified as the father, killed), 36-year-old Ayde Davila (HIspanic female identified as the mother, Critical Condition, The Med in Memphis), 12-year-old Floza Davila (Hispanic female, killed), 10-year-old Brayam Davila (Hispanic male, stable condition, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital Memphis, shot in hip), 8-year-old Anquel Islas (Hispanic male, critical condition, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital), 43-year-old Augusten Hernandez (Hispanic male, Critical Condition, The Med in Memphis, apparently unrelated to shooter Porfirio S. Hernandez).
Yates identified the person shot on Dalton Farmer Road as 34-year-old Richardo Lopez (Hispanic male, killed, apparently known by the shooter possibly a former working relationship).
Yates said police believe Porfirio S. Hernandez used a .357 magnum handgun for all of the shootings, including the self-inflicted gunshot. Yates said the gun was found at the rural county road crime scene where Hernandez was found. He said the gun holds six shots and that Hernandez apparently “tactically reloaded” during the shooting spree. Yates said police believe it is the only gun used. He said police will work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to determine the origin of the gun, but that will take “quite some time.”
Yates said police do not know why Hernandez had been in a mental institution or what institution he had been in.
Yates said Hernandez was believed to have been a “friend or acquaintance” with those who were shot. He said there were other persons at the Moore Road residence when the shooting occurred who fled the scene. Yates said police detectives are attempting to locate those people and question them. He said the language barrier had presented issues for detectives but they are working through it.
Police have not yet identified a motive for Saturday’s shootings. Yates said one witness interview that had been conducted indicated that Hernandez “did not say anything” during the shooting spree. Yates said most of the shootings resulted in head wounds, although one victim, 10 year old Hispanic male Brayam Davila, was shot in the hip.
Yates said the bodies of the deceased victims will be taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for autopsy.
Here is KAIT-TV news story covering the same 10am Sunday news conference. Story available at www.kait8.com.
Story below first published Saturday, May 3, 2014. Contributing reporters Trey Stafford, Christie Matthews, Bo Dalton, Paul Carter
Here are bullet points from Sergeant Doug Forman, speaking at a news conference conducted by the Jonesboro Police Department concerning shootings that occurred in East Jonesboro Saturday afternoon.
Sergeant Doug Forman thanked Arkansas State Police, Craighead County Sheriff’s Department, Bay Police, Brookland Police and the Craighead County Coroner’s Office for assisting Jonesboro Police.
There were as many as 45 JPD officers involved in today’s action.
Police Chief Mike Yates has briefed Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and Forman assumes that the Mayor has briefed members of the Jonesboro City Council.
This is still a developing story and many details cannot be released, or are not known at this time.
There are a total of three crime scenes.
Police are confident there is no more danger. Police believe the main individual responsible for today’s action is “no longer a threat.”
Timeline for today’s actions:
1:14pm Call received by the 911 Center regarding a shooting on Moore Road South of Highway 18 (Highland)
Police arrived at a resident on Moore Road which had a garage or body shop type building adjacent to it.
6 individuals were shot at that residence. 2 are dead, 4 are injured.
An adult Hispanic male died from wounds received.
An adult Hispanic male was taken to St. Bernards and then taken to The Med in Memphis
An adult Hispanic female was taken to St. Bernards and then taken to The Med in Memphis
A Hispanic female 13 years old was shot and deceased.
A Hispanic male 10 years old is listed in critical condition at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis
A Hispanic male 8 years old is listed in critical condition at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.
1:22pm. The 911 Center received a call regarding a shooting on Dalton Farmer Road, which runs parallel to the Highway 63 Bypass near Nike Pak. At that location some lawnscape work was being done. An adult Hispanic male was shot and killed at that location.
3:32pm. The 911 Center received a call from a farmer who found a car stopped in the middle of County Road 642, which is about 2-3 miles East of Moore Road. Deputies responded to that location and found an adult Hispanic male dead from a gunshot wound sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Police believe this person was the person responsible for the other shootings.
Forman was asked if there are any other suspects. He said police are following up on “one more lead” but police aren’t sure if that lead is significant or not.
Forman was asked if police know why the events happened today. He said police do not know and are following up to attempt to establish motive.
Forman was asked if everyone involved in the action today were related? He said he did not know.
Forman was asked if there had been any previous police calls to the address on Moore Road? He said he did not know.
There will be a follow-up press briefing Sunday morning at 10am.
Click audio icon below to hear Chief Mike Yates news conference from Sunday morning 10am.