DARDANELLE, Ark. (KTHV) – Sunday, the close-knit communities of Yell County had a chance to pay respect to a Sheriff’s Deputy who died protecting them.
Lt. Kevin Mainhart was killed Thursday while responding to a domestic disturbance. Two other people were also shot and killed.
Police have arrested James Bowden, who they said shot and killed the deputy after Mainhart pulled him over during a routine traffic stop. 42-year-old James Bowden is accused of all three murders and is due in court Monday morning.
Family, the community, and officers from all over the state came out to Cornwell Funeral Home in Dardanelle to pay their respects.
“We're here because we're a family,” said Sgt. Allen Bradley.
Bradley knew Mainhart personally and his family personally.
"I worked with Ron Mainhart, who was a captain and is retired from our police department. I watched Kevin grow up,” Bradley said.
Bradley has worked for the Russellville Police Department for almost 35 years. He said police take risk anytime they pull someone over. "I hear on the news that it was a routine traffic stop but there's nothing routine about it. Everything is totally different. And it's hard to be prepared for every situation,” said Bradley.
"I shed tears with them. They didn't know I was shedding tears but I was at home watching the news and shed tears with them. It’s sad for the whole county and the entire state,” Mae Ruth Pace said. She’s lived in the area most of her life.
This community is still standing together after an unpredictable heartbreak.
"You do not know as you approach someone, their condition or the frame of mind they might be in,” said Debby Wolfe.
Wolfe and her family hung a flag in their yard in memory of Mainhart, who died protecting and serving Yell County. Wolfe lives right across the street from Cornwell Funeral Home. The flag is her own special way of paying homage to an officer who’s memory lives on.
"The flag is from World War II and it's never been opened before now,” said Wolfe.
“It’s been a sad week since all of this happened here,” said Pace.
Close to 200 people showed up at the funeral home today and even more are expected to turn out tomorrow for Mainhart’s funeral.
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