PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) -- Pine Bluff police are investigating a homicide at the Merrill Community Center.

It happened around 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday when police found 18-year-old Jerry Pryor shot in the parking lot. He was then taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries.


Multiple witnesses named 18-year-old Alexis Reed as the person responsible for shooting Pryor. According to a release from the police department, Reed was seen running from the parking lot.

Witnesses told police the two were arguing outside before Pryor was shot. It's unclear why they were arguing or their history together.

There were children inside the community center at the time of the shooting but no one else was injured. Police locked the center down following the shooting, then escorted the children out once the scene was secured.

The mayor said the Merrill Community Center is a place many children in Pine Bluff come to play and is disappointed crime was brought into a place many consider to be a safe haven. The mayor said Pryor used to be a former attendee of the center and stopped by to talk with a former teacher.

"He had just gotten a job and came to share that good news with her," said Mayor Shirley Washington

The mayor wants to ensure parents the center is still that safe place for children in Pine Bluff.

"I couldn't believe it. I really couldn't believe it because when I'm here, there's no violent activity," she said. "As we move forward, we'll continue to work with our children at a young age so maybe we can curtail some of the violence."

Anyone with information on Alexis Reed is asked to contact the Pine Bluff Police Department.