A pistol-packing church choir member came to the aid of a robbery victim and killed her assailant late Wednesday in a church parking lot, Little Rock police said.
Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said a man and woman were walking near the intersection of 22nd and Maple streets about 9:45 p.m., when a black man approached them with a 9mm pistol and demanded their money.
The names of the people involved weren’t released.
During the robbery, the male victim fled, and the female victim ran south with the robber chasing her, Hastings said.
Choir practice had just ended at the Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 2400 Maple St., and members were leaving the church to head home, Hastings said.
The female victim ran into the church parking lot and jumped into a black pickup belonging to a choir member, Hastings said. The robber tried to take the vehicle, but the owner of the truck, who was sitting inside, pulled out a 9mm pistol of his own and shot the robber in the head, killing him.
The shooting marked Little Rock’s 47th homicide of the year - six more than the city recorded throughout all of 2005.
“He was getting out of choir practice, trying to go home,” Hastings said of the choir member. “The robber didn’t have a chance.”
Minutes later, police swarmed the scene, examining the truck and setting small cards next to spent casings in the parking lot, marking each as evidence.
Several shots were fired, Hastings said, though only by the choir member. Police hadn’t concluded if the choir member had a permit for a concealed weapon or whether the fatal shooting was justified.
Police interviewed the shooter and several other choir members who were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, Hastings said.
The church’s lights were still on about 10:30 p.m., but calls to the church’s telephone number went unanswered.