Family of Man Killed in LR Police Incident Speaks Out

LITTLE ROCK, Ark -- The family of a man killed after an incident with Little Rock Police outside a nightclub, early Saturday morning, speaks out.

It happened outside "Local Union" a bar off University Avenue.

Police said James Hartsfield got into a confrontation with officers -- ending with shots fired, and his car crashing through a brick wall.

Natasha Hamilton can barely speak about her older brother James Hartsfield.

"I feel empty inside," said Hamilton. "I feel lost

Hamilton said her brother recently stopped seeing her as just his baby sister.

"He just finally stopped treating me like a little girl," said Hamilton. "He was like I was made when you had Jay, but the woman you became [amazing]."

Little Rock police said Hartsfield died after being shot by off duty Officer Brittany Gunn.

"I'm destroyed," said Hamilton.

Investigators said Gunn was working as a security guard at the bar when she tried stopping Hartsfield after seeing him drinking a bottle of liquor behind the wheel.

Police said 28-year-old Hartsfield fought with officers.

Gunn got into the car with him, as he drove off toward a brick wall. Authorities said this led the officer to shoot him several times. Hartsfield then crashed into the wall and died at the scene.

His older sister, Lauren Hartsfield, said it's hard to believe what police said happened to her only brother.

"My brother was loving, funny, very intelligent," said Lauren. "Nothing that's being said it couldn't be the truth. It's definitely some things that they're hiding."

She last spoke to her brother Wednesday.

"That was a piece of me and now that he's gone it's like a piece of me is gone," said Lauren.

Juan Williams, his cousin, said he will never forget encouraging words Hartsfield gave him.

"He always told me you can never stop learning," said Williams.

Kentrell Green, a close friend ...

"I'm taking this hard," said Green.

And Ellie Johnson, his grandmother ...

"That was my baby," said Johnson.

Vowing not to stop seeking if the officer was justified in killing their loved one.

"They definitely struck more than a nerve with this one," said Lauren. "[With] so many different lives."

Gunn and another officer involved in the incident are out of the hospital. They're on administrative leave, which is standard for cases like this.

Hartsfield's family said they are having a ballon release in his memory at 5 p.m. this Friday, at 407 Meadow Brook, in Gurdon.

 


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