For consecutive days last week Booneville was the destination for multiple law enforcement agencies searching for a man in relation to what was eventually classified as a double homicide.
Wednesday night a perimeter was established on the east end of Dena Street in search of 19-year old Lewis Shores.
News of the search spread quickly and the Booneville Police Department was inundated with calls seeking information, which would continue until well after Shores was apprehended.
Shores, a possible suspect in the deaths of Jimmy Grubb, 81, and Norma Grubb, 79, in Fort Smith was eventually captured during the nine o’clock hour Wednesday night.
The Grubb couple was found dead at a residence in the 7700 block of Hermitage Drive in Fort Smith while investigators were trying to identify the driver of a vehicle involved in a wreck Tuesday afternoon near Booneville.
After his capture Wednesday night, Shores was transported by the Arkansas State Police to Sebastian County.
While Shores remained on the loose, area residents were predictably anxious.
Fern Frost, who also lives in the neighborhood that became the hub of activity, said someone attempted to break into her back door about the time the quest for Shores began, leading her to believe it was the wanted man.
“I was asleep on the couch when it sounded like someone was trying to kick the door in,” she said. “I got up and went outside and saw the helicopters making their first pass, I guess.”
As for the door, Frost said, it appeared whoever attempted to gain entry and done so by using an object which left a sizable dent in the door.
With the manhunt ongoing at the time school came to a close Wednesday, Student Resource Officer Norm Wilder escorted four buses whose route of travel went near the search area. Wilder followed the buses, activating blue lights when students departed the buses.
The manhunt also prompted area churches to dismiss their midweek services.
Mary Draper said she was leaving the area to stay with relatives near in Hot Springs until things settled own in her neighborhood.
Draper, who lives alone, said she wasn’t as concerned with Tuesday’s search but the Wednesday afternoon and evening activity was simply too close. Consequently, Draper said she is considering moving out of the city she has called home for 40 years.
Shores had evaded capture earlier in the day after an altercation with Logan County Sheriff Boyd Hicks.
Hicks told a reporter he was waiting for additional officers outside a residence on Venable Street in Booneville when Shores noticed him and fled on foot. He said he tackled Shores when he fled, but that Shores got away and ran into a wooded area.
Shores was reportedly seen around the water treatment center, preceding the establishment of a perimeter by Booneville Police Department officers, Logan County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Arkansas State Troopers. The Sebastian County Command Center van was also in town off Sharpe Street.
Residents also lined Shape (Highway 23 South) watching proceedings, some using vision enhancemnt equipment.
Helicopters were also utilized during at least three intervals and BPD Chief Rusty Lewis said K9 officers “were taken to three locations.”
Lewis, who became Booneville’s police chief the previous week, said he had all available men out “keeping the streets hot.”
After the perimeter was vacated BPD and LCSO officers continued to work leads both inside and outside city limits.