EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — It was a violent Labor Day weekend in El Dorado with four shootings and one stabbing incident that led to the death of 33-year-old Willie “Will” Jerome Candley Jr.
“It’s like one of those puzzle boxes that you try to put together and that piece is missing,” Will’s brother, Jermaine Candley said. “It will always be incomplete.”
According to a report by the El Dorado Police Department, the incident happened around 5 p.m. Saturday in the area of Marsh Avenue. When officers arrived, they found Will lying on the sidewalk in a man’s yard.
El Dorado Medics arrived and transported Will for treatment at a medical facility where he later died of his injuries.
“I didn’t believe him at first. I thought he was playing a joke on me. I was in disbelief,” said Jermaine when his father called about Will’s death.
The suspect, 50-year-old Ronald Joe Pierce, was still in the area as was the weapon which still had Will’s blood on it.
According to witnesses who live in the area, the incident stemmed from an argument that began in the street.
“No argument is worth taking somebody’s life,” Jermaine said. “It’s not the answer.”
Will was part of a large family on both his mom and dad’s side. Not only was he a son and brother but he was a nephew, cousin and friend.
His cousin, Curttina Clark, described him as having a calm persona who loved his family, skating and fixing things.
“Small engine repair, it’s like he had a gift. If he couldn’t fix it. It couldn’t be fixed. He really had a gift. That was one of the things I really admired about him. It was really impressive the things he could do.”
When Will was growing up, he spent a lot of time at the skate park in El Dorado and he spent a lot of time there as an older adult.
Jermaine described his little brother as having “wonderful skills” but all of that potential and personality was cut way too son.
“He had so much life to live,” Clark said. “He couldn’t even live a full life.”
“He was really inspirational. Sometimes he would tell me he would want to do things I was doing but I would tell him I wish I could do a lot of the things he had done,” Jermaine said.
“He was a very caring and self-less person. If he could help, he would help. A lot of times, he would help you without you even asking. That’s just one of the good traits about him.”
Dealing with Will’s death was difficult but it was even harder for those that found out via social media.
According to Clark, she found out from a family member but others heard the news through a Facebook live video that circulated the internet Saturday evening.
“Nobody wants to find out about their loved one on social media,” she said.
Pierce will appear in court Wednesday afternoon. He is being charged with first-degree murder.
Man injured in shooting Monday evening, no suspects in custody at this time
On Monday, September 7th, 2020 at approximately 7:15 p.m., officers were notified of a possible shooting victim who had been driven to a local hospital in a personal vehicle.
According to a report, officers made contact with the victim, identified as James Henry, who said he was walking in the area of B Avenue and Midway Street when he heard a gunshot and felt, what he thought, was a bullet hit him in the lower back.
After further investigation and witness statements, it appeared that Henry, who lives in the area, was an innocent by stander.
There was a large disturbance in the area of the 900 block of B Avenue where a weapon was pulled and fired one time.
The suspect and several other subjects left in a vehicle. The suspect vehicle was located and towed, but the suspect has not been located and the suspect’s information will not be released at this time.
Three men arrested for allegedly shooting at two people Monday morning
Also occurring over the weekend were two shootings which Police are related.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday, officers were dispatched to the Union County Fair Grounds in reference to a possible shots fired.
According to a report, officers arrived and made contact with two subjects who advised they were parked in their vehicles talking when the male subject heard what he thought was a gunshot from a .22 caliber rifle or maybe a high powered air rifle.
He said no one was injured and no property damage could be located. The witness did say that he observed a white sport utility vehicle at the STOP sign at East 19th Street and Martin Luther King Blvd. He said the vehicle turned to travel south on Martin Luther King Blvd.
An hour later around 2:15 a.m., officers were dispatched to a call in the area of 840 West Hillsboro Street in reference to individuals in a white vehicle shooting at victim, 37 year old Lloyd Cater.
Cater advised he was walking east on Hillsboro across from Melvin’s Pharmacy when a white Trailblazer passed by him going east.
As the Trailblazer passed Cater, he observed what appeared to be the barrel of a rifle sticking out of one of the windows pointing in his direction; he then heard a sharp pop, which sounded like a small caliber rifle.
Officers were able to immediately locate the vehicle which was occupied by the driver, 18 year old Brylee Monrreal of Union County, 20 year old Bronson Criss of Union County who was in the backseat and 21 year old Darrell McKinnis of Union County was in the third row seat.
A Crossman Air Rifle was located in the vehicle along with a sack of pink and red paintballs and sling shot.
All three subjects were arrested and transported to the Union County Justice Facility to be held pending first appearance which will be held on Wednesday.
One man in stable condition after being shot Sunday morning
On Sunday, September 6th, 2020, at approximately 6 a.m. officers were dispatched East Elm Street in regards to a shooting victim identidied at 59-year-old Roger Bryant.
According to a release, Bryant was walking on Faulkner Street near the railroad tracks when a vehicle drove up and he heard a loud pop sound.
Bryant believed he was shot with a paintball gun. When officers arrived and asked Bryant to lift up his shirt, there wasn’t any blood or injuries indicating he was shot.
Medics were called to the scene and after placed on the cot, a small wound was discovered in Bryant’s sternum.
Medics advised the wound was consistent with a small caliber gun. Bryant was rushed to a local emergency room to be treated for his wound.
Bryant was taken in to surgery where the injuries were determined to be more extensive than predicted and he was flown to a medical facility in Little Rock, AR.
An update on Bryant was he was in stable condition while being held in the intensive care unit after undergoing surgery.
One teen arrested, another injured after a shooting Saturday morning
On Saturday September 5th, 2020 at approximately 2:30 a.m. officers responded to 2110 Junction City Road (Go Rainbow) in reference to a shooting.
According to a report, officers located a 16 year old black male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper right chest lying on the ground next to a silver Dodge Challenger that was parked behind the store.
Medics arrived on scene and rendered aid to the victim. Officers made contact with the owner of the Challenger, who advised that the victim was her brother, and that after a fight broke out she heard gunshots. She realized her brother was injured and called 911. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
After further investigation, a 16 year old black male was identified as the suspect and later arrested. Police are working to charge the juvenile as an adult. If so, he will also appear in court on Wednesday.