Pine Bluff police are continuing their investigation into a shooting incident Friday afternoon that resulted in the death of one man and injuries to two others. Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley identified the victim as Gregory Christopher Jr., 31, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:44 p.m. by Deputy Coroner Eric Belcher. The cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds to the upper body.
The body was found inside a red Chevrolet Impala that was parked directly in front of the Beech Street Apartments at 2103 S. Beech St. Two other passengers in the vehicle, Courtney Tripp, 27, and Lavell Reed III, 37, both of Pine Bluff, were wounded and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center by ambulance, where their conditions were unavailable Monday.
According to a report from Pine Bluff Police Officer Kevin Collins, who was the first officer on the scene, he saw glass in the middle of the street, then two men, later identified as Tripp and Collins, walked up to the passenger doors of the car while a crowd of more than 20 people watched from outside the apartment complex and from the street.
Collins reported that Reed tried to help Tripp get in the vehicle when Tripp said he had been shot and needed to get to the hospital.
“I noticed blood on Courtney’s shirt and a hole in the right side of his shirt,” Collins said in the report. “He was moving very slow to get inside the car as he held his left side (rib cage).”
The report said Reed did not say that he had been shot, but he had blood on his white t-shirt; after several tries, Reed was able to get the car started and tried to drive away before the vehicle stopped on the north side of West 21st Avenue on Beech Street.
Collins reported that he saw two black handguns that appeared to have blood on them in a ditch on the east side of West 21st Avenue, along with a “long beer can” in the ditch and a “short beer can” in the street. Lt. Donna Fratesi arrived to assist and ran to the vehicle, while Collins stayed with the weapons that were in the ditch until other officers, detectives and crime scene technicians arrived to process the scene.
No arrests have been made, and no suspects have been identified so far in the death. According to the Commercial’s online archives, Gregory Christopher was charged with aggravated assault and with being a felon in possession of a firearm during the week of March 20-24, 2017. He was arrested on those charges on April 18. So far this year, there have been 10 homicides inside the Pine Bluff city limits with 11 victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Detective Division at 730-2090 or the dispatch center at 541-5300. All calls will be kept confidential.
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