LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Neighbors who witness the events before and after a police officer shot and killed Roy Richards described a nuisance that becomes a worrisome fight, until a few bullets ended his life.
911 calls released by the Little Rock Police Department on Wednesday show an increasing level of concern.
“Someone just drove up in the middle of my next-door neighbor’s yard, and he’s honking the horn and yelling,” a man said during the beginning of one call, placed just after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Richards and his uncle, Derrell Underwood, were arguing near the street, and neighbors who called the police department said Richards got in and out of his car.
“I asked him to stop honking the horn,” the first caller added, “and he started threatening me.”
Underwood also called 911. He told a dispatcher that Richards, 46, was drunk.
“Now don’t hurt him,” Underwood told the dispatcher. “I just want him out of my yard and away from my house.”
A woman who lived nearby said she and her husband were watching the altercation, but she had fears that it would escalate.
“If y’all can get here really quick,” she told the dispatcher, before giving her address, “there’s a man with a gun. He’s pulled it out, gonna shoot my neighbor.”
The dispatcher asked her to stay on the phone, and she remains on the line for several minutes. Included in her call is the moment in which officer Dennis Hutchins II shot Richards.
“What am I hearing?” the dispatcher asked. In the background, a male voice can be heard saying, “please surrender it now!” The dispatcher then asked the caller, “shots…are they shooting?” She swore when she realized that someone had just been shot, and then the dispatcher added, “shots fired on that.”
Hutchins joined the Little Rock Police Department in 2001. Along with information about him, the department released a photo of a gun, which a spokesperson said is the gun Richards was holding at the time he was shot. The gun is an airsoft rifle.
According to his statement to investigators, Hutchins stated that Richards was pointing the gun at Underwood’s back, and Hutchins fired his weapon because he thought Richards would shoot Underwood with it.
Neighbors continued to call 911 after the shooting, and dispatchers tried to calm their fears.
“There was a sound, in front of my building, sounded like a car alarm going off four or five times,” one woman said. “And then the shouting match started, which just ended with what sounded like five gunshots.”
“Yeah, we’re already on scene out there,” a dispatcher told a man who called. “If you look out the window, you’ll see several police cars.
“Oh, okay. Okay, good,” the man replied. “I just, yeah, I heard a argument, and then it escalated, and then I heard some gunshots fired.”
Hutchins and the other officer who was with him were both placed on administrative leave, but a spokesman for LRPD says Hutchins was the only who fired his gun.