Search continues for person who carjacked, murdered man

PUCO murder shines light on apartment violence

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The victim of an overnight carjacking has been identified as 29-year-old James Ward.

It happened off the Protho Junction exit in North Little Rock, and unfortunately, this isn't a one-off situation. The apartment complex where the crime occurred has been plagued with violent crime for years. In the last two years, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office has responded to the Chapel Ridge Apartment complex 355 times.

"If you stay in the house and you stay to yourself, that's pretty much what I do. That's sad you can't even come outside and be safe,” said two-year resident, Ronika Crusterson.

Around 4:30 Thursday morning, Pulaski County deputies got a call there'd been a shooting at the Chapel Ridge Apartments on McCain Place. When they got there, Ward had been shot in the head. He died at the hospital.

"We have no idea why he was here, or what his plans were when he got here,” said Pulaski County Lieutenant, Cody Burk.

So far this month, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office has been called out to the Chapel Ridge Apartments 15 times. In August, that number was 23.

"We are out here pretty much several times a day,” Burk said, adding deputies are called out to Chapel Ridge Apartments more than any other one location in the Northeast district.

Ultimately it's going to take management, and the residents taking a stand, speaking up, to make a change.

"If people call in and let us know what's happening before it gets out of hand out here, we can come out there,” Burk said.

"It makes you very afraid, but one thing about it is: when you stay to yourself, you don't got to worry about situations like that,” Crusterson said of her strategy.

The management at Chapel Ridge Apartments had no comment. Police still haven't named any suspects.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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