Officers, residents injured in Fourth of July fireworks attacks in Texarkana

TAPD looking for suspects involved in the attacks
Multiple police officers and some residents were injured Monday night (July 4) in Texarkana...
Multiple police officers and some residents were injured Monday night (July 4) in Texarkana after responding to a couple of complaints about fireworks.(Pexels)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 4:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2022 at 5:20 AM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Multiple police officers and some residents were injured Monday night (July 4) in Texarkana after responding to a couple of complaints about fireworks. Now residents of the neighborhood are asking the city for more help to make the area safe.

“Every year, they destroy my vehicles, my property. They run amuck around here,” said Anthony Taylor, a man who lives near Washington and Pinehurst streets where the incident happened.

Residents living near the area say they’re fed up with outsiders coming into their neighborhood and shooting off fireworks. Taylor described his neighborhood Monday night as a war zone.

“They shot me in the arm as soon as I walked out my back door. My daughter came out, they shot her, they shot my neighbor in the leg,” Taylor said.

Not only were residents injured, but police officers and firefighters were targeted by those shooting off the fireworks as well. One Texarkana, Ark., police officer underwent surgery for her injuries.

“She was shot right there and the officer walked all the way over there with the help of the other officer. She was hurt real bad. I had just told the officer, ‘Be careful ma’am because they don’t have no respect for y’all. They will shoot y’all just as well they shoot up our property,’” said Taylor.

Police are not saying how many officers were injured, but two firefighters were hit.

“One of our units pulled up on scene and began pulling hoses and at that time, fireworks were fired,” said Jim Walls, Texarkana fire marshal.

KSLA News 12 caught up with Carolyn Butler as she left a hospital emergency room. She lives on Washington Street and was injured by the fireworks.

“I got a hole in my right leg and the other is burnt on my left leg, so we need it to stop and we all getting together to try and stop it because it need to stop,” Butler said.

Residents say this has become a common Fourth of July occurrence in their neighborhood.

“Something got to be done about these fireworks, and the fireworks they are shooting are like mini bombs. They are almost like grenades,” Taylor said.

The Texarkana, Ark., Police Department will not say what charges, if any, will be filed against those responsible for the injuries. Officials did say the group of juveniles and young adults used highly explosive, artillery-style fireworks in the attack.

Officers responded to two separate attacks, one just before 8 p.m. in the 1800 block of Washington Street, and one around 11:40 p.m. near the railroad tracks at Euclid Street.

“Fireworks such as Roman candles and bottle rockets being aimed in the direction of police officers is nothing new. Officers have experienced these occurrences and understand their limitations. However, this new method of launching powerful artillery shell explosives toward police officers is new and will be addressed accordingly,” the Police Department said in a news release.

Miller County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell says this incident was more than just child’s play getting out of hand.

“We will be seeking warrants for their arrest with the offense of aggravated assault on a law officer, battery second, and we also will be seeking an enhancement for engaging in criminal group activities due to their acting as a group,” Mitchell said.

Anyone with information about those responsible for the attacks is asked to call the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department at 903-798-3154, or call Crime Stoppers at 903-793-7867.

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