Pine Bluff police are continuing their investigation into a shooting incident Sunday that resulted in injuries to two men, including the principal of an elementary school in the Pulaski County Special School District.

Matthew Mellor, 48, who is the principal at Lawson Road Elementary School, underwent surgery Monday, the school district said in a Facebook post. Police said Mellor had gunshot wounds to the left and right side.

A second man, Dennis Bradley Jr., 56, who was with Mellor at the time, was shot in the right hand.

The two were found in a Jeep at 6th Avenue and Birch Street at 7:50 p.m. after police received a call about a possible shooting. Bradley told officers he had been speaking to a black male on Facebook in the Market Place about a vehicle the man said he had for sale.

After negotiating a price, Bradley and Mellor drove to Pine Bluff. The unknown male texted Bradley an address of 4223 W. 5th Ave., and Bradley told police that when he went there, he did not see the male or the vehicle.

The male then texted him a second address of 4228 W. 4th Ave., and Bradley said they drove to that address, where he met the man who then got into the back seat of the jeep Bradley was driving. Bradley said the male told him to drive to 5th Avenue and Oleander Street behind Car Mart and said the vehicle was there with the man’s uncle.

Bradley said when they got to the location, the man got out of the back seat, pulled out a small-frame black handgun and said “give me the money.” Bradley said he then pulled out his own handgun and pointed it at the man, who then fired multiple shots and fled on foot.

Police reported that there were three handguns found in Bradley’s vehicle, one in the driver’s side front door, the second on the floor on the passenger front and the third in the back passenger side rear seat.


The Commercial's content partner, KATV Channel 7, reported that patrons of the district where Mellor taught are distraught after the incident.

"I was kind of heartbroken," parent Amber Moy told KATV. "It’s just very sad to hear this happened to such a great person. I was honored to be able to meet a principle that had so much respect for his parents. He really cares about his students."

Pulaski County Special Schools District director of communications Jessica Duff added, "Whether it was a scam or whatever the situation may be, the overall outcome is heartbreaking."

Anyone with information about the person or persons responsible 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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