Little Rock police identified the man killed in a shooting Wednesday night in a church parking lot.
Jason Jones, 20, of 904 S. Battery St. was shot “four or five” times just before 9:45 p.m. Wednesday after he tried to steal a truck at gunpoint from a member of the Shiloh Seventhday Adventist Church at 2400 Maple St. , according to reports released Thursday.
“God wasn’t going to let that happen on his turf, I guess,” said Calvin Hale, who lives across the street from the church and heard the gunfire.
The killing was Little Rock’s 47th homicide of the year. The city recorded 41 killings in all of 2005.
According to a police report released Thursday, the shooting occurred after Jones tried to rob a couple two blocks north of the church on Maple.
One of the robbery victims, Erma Lewis, 60, fled south toward the church. The robber pursued.
Choir practice had just ended at the church, and choir members were leaving when Lewis reached the church, according to the police report.
Samuel Mitchell, a 54-year-old choir member, was driving out of the parking lot when Lewis climbed into his 1993 Chevrolet truck and asked for help.
According to the police report, the would-be robber approached the driver’s side of the truck, pointed a 9mm pistol at Mitchell and said he was going to steal the truck.
Mitchell responded by opening the truck door, producing a 9mm of his own and shooting Jones in the chest and left arm, according to the report.
Paramedics took Jones to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital, where he died of his wounds in the emergency room.
A spokesman for the Arkansas State Police said Mitchell was licensed to carry the pistol. Both guns in the attack were stainless steel with black grips, according to the report.
Police did not arrest Mitchell in the shooting, and a police spokesman said the case would be turned over to Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley to determine if the 54-year-old acted in self-defense. Mitchell declined to comment on the shooting.
Jones wore a gray T-shirt and black pants, and had tattoos on both arms, according to the report. One tattoo on his right arm read, “Big Jones.” The tattoo on his left arm depicted a gun.
“We don’t know all the details,” said James Roberts, pastor of the church. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of it. And that’s all I can say right now.”
Jones was born in Blytheville, according to Pulaski County jail files. He was held in the jail in January after being charged with carrying a weapon and failure to appear, a jail employee said. Jones was convicted and released in February after being given credit for time served, the employee said.
Jones also was held in June 2005 on domestic-battery charges. The disposition of that case wasn’t available. Information for this article was provided by Van Jensen of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.