Laquan Javaris Fitzpatrick
, 19, was being held pending a capital murder charge in the death of Major Philip Wise, Police Chief Danny Bradley announced at a hastily called news conference Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Fitzpatrick’s arrest at a family residence in Helena-West Helena.
Bradley said one suspect was still at large
, though he declined to give details because the investigation is ongoing. He said a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the Wise shooting was still active.
Bradley said Fitzpatrick had “been on the screen” before his December 30 arrest on a gun charge in North Little Rock. He was released on bond in January after being held at the Pulaski Country Regional Detention Center in Little Rock.
The police chief said after Tuesday’s news conference he had some regret that Fitzpatrick was released, but “we didn’t have any evidence. You need evidence,” he said.
Since then, Bradley said, his department had been “doing old-fashioned police work” to build a case against Fitzpatrick.
Wise’s widow, Salvation Army Major Cindy Wise, attended today’s news conference.
“I’m just elated, ecstatic,” she said. “They (the police) called me around 1:15 p.m. to let me know. I’ve been waiting on this day every day since Phil …”
She said she told her three children of the arrest today afternoon before taking them to therapy.
“They are all just on cloud nine,” she said of the three, ages 4, 6 and 8. “They were all very excited.”