PEA RIDGE, Ark. — Two suspects accused of ramming their vehicle into Pea Ridge Officer Kevin Apple, killing him, have been charged with capital murder. Neither suspect was given bond.
At approximately 11:24 a.m. Saturday (June 26), the Pea Ridge Police Department was alerted by Rogers Police about a blue SUV they had been following. Police say at 12:09 p.m., Pea Ridge Police located the vehicle parked at the White Oak gas station on N. Curtis Avenue.
Pea Ridge Officer Kevin Apple and Officer Brian Stamps attempted to contact the vehicle occupants, but an altercation erupted. Police say the vehicle then rammed into the police car as the suspects were fleeing, pinning Officer Apple between two vehicles killing him. Officer Apple was also drug nearly 150 feet by the vehicle, according to an affidavit.
Law enforcement located suspects in the SUV, identified as 22-year-old Shawna Cash of Pine Bluff and 18-year-old Elijah Andazola of Bella Vista, in Bella Vista, and took the pair into custody without incident. According to police, Andazola did try to run away from officers but was later found in a camper trailer.
Both Cash and Andazola were transported to the Benton County Jail.
Monday (June 28) morning, Andazola was officially charged with capital murder in connection with Officer Apple's death and is being held without bond. His arraignment is set for August 2 at 8:00 a.m.
Cash has also been charged with capital murder and was not given a bond.
Cash has been identified as the driver of the vehicle that struck Officer Apple.
An affidavit following the incident shows police questioning Cash and Andazola about what happened leading up to Officer Apple's death. Neither took responsibility for the fatal crash. Andazola said Cash was driving and that he was in shock after the vehicle struck Officer Apple, and Cash said she was just doing what she was told to do and that she tends to "blackout" during stressful situations.
Cash told investigators she had smoked marijuana the morning of Officer Apple's death, but that neither she nor Andazola had done any other substances.
Since Officer Apple's death, the entire Northwest Arkansas community has shown its support for the Pea Ridge Police Department.
A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night, and a procession for Officer Apple was took place Sunday morning. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has requested the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff in tribute of Officer Apple until his internment.
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