UPDATE: Suspect in murder of Sierra-Li Nicole Wade captured

Arkansas News

UPDATE: LAKE VILLAGE, Ar. (12/6/19) — Lake Village Police have announced that the suspect in the shooting death of a UAPB student has been arrested.

According to a post on Lake Village Police Department’s Facebook page, 41-year-old Octavious Easterling has been arrested and is currently being held at the Pulaski County Jail.

The suspect in the homicide of Sierra ‘Li Wade is in custody currently being held at the Pulaski County jail. Investigation is ongoing.

Posted by Lake Village Police Department on Friday, December 6, 2019

Police say the investigation is still ongoing.


UPDATE: LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. (11/27/19) Lake Village Police have released the name of the suspect in the shooting death of a University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff student.

Police are looking for 41-year-old Octavious Easterling in connection to the death of Sierra-Li Nicole Wade.

If you have seen Easterling or know where he is, please contact the Lake Village Police Department at 870-265-5055.


LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. (11/26/19) A University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff freshman basketball player was shot and killed in her hometown of Lake Village Monday evening.

Sierra-Li Nicole Wade, 18, of Pine Bluff was killed in the shooting. Family members said one of Wade’s older brothers was the other victim. He survived the incident with non-life threatening injuries.

“She didn’t deserve this at all,” Wade’s mother, Girlie Balhin said.

Officials with Arkansas State Police said the Lake Village Police Department received a call around 5:58 p.m. of people that were shot at the Henry Augustus Johnson Park, also known as the Luna Street Court.

When investigators arrived to the scene, they found Wade and her brother suffering from gunshot wounds.

Wade was transported to Chicot Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Family and friends said the 5’2 guard for the U.A.P.B Golden Lions Women’s Basketball team was home for Thanksgiving break.

When the shooting occurred, witnesses said the park was full with children and adults playing. At the time, Wade was talking to her brother outside of the court gates.

“This young lady, oh my gosh, it’s so sad,” Eric Jefferson said. “She actually had a future. Ain’t no telling what she would’ve been.”

Like Jefferson, many in the community watched Wade grow up and could remember how much of a star athlete she was while playing basketball on the Lakeside Beavers Lady Basketball Team.

Jefferson lives nearby the park and heard the gunshots. At first, he thought someone was playing around until he received a phone call about what took place just feet away from his home.

“Just to be robbed of a life that’s so young, it’s just tragic,” he said. “It’s just tragic.”

The small community said they are heartbroken about the recent tragedy. A group of family and friends gathered at the spot of the shooting to pay their respects and gather in prayer.

“Let them know that it wasn’t in vain.. that her life wasn’t in vain,” one community member prayed.

Jefferson and others are asking for the community everywhere to come together and stop the non-sense killing.

“Black people we need to wake up,” he said, ” We are dying in astronomical numbers. We we need to do something about this. Our young people are dying.”

Wade’s mother is also seeking justice for her baby girl.

“If anybody knows anything please just come forward. Help me. Please give my baby justice,” she pleaded.

According to the university, Wade was also an ROTC cadet.

No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing. There will be a candlelight vigil to honor Wade’s life at the Luna Street Court on Friday at 6 p.m.


UAPB: Freshman ROTC cadet/student-athlete shot & killed in Lake Village while playing basketball

(11/26/2019) — According to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Facebook page, one of their students was shot & killed.

They say freshman ROTC cadet and student-athlete Sierra’li Wade died after being shot in her hometown of Lake Village, Arkansas. They say she was playing basketball at the time of her death.

The Pride mourns the loss of freshman ROTC cadet and student-athlete Sierra’li Wade. Wade died from gunshot wounds she…

Posted by University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Monday, November 25, 2019

There are no further details at this time. NBC 10 is reaching out to investigators in Chicot County to find out more information on the shooting, and to see if there are any suspects at this time.

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