By: Luke Matheson
A Pine Bluff Police Officer has been cleared of any wrong doing after an investigation by the Arkansas State Police in a shooting that happened on UAPB Homecoming weekend at the Sahara Shrine Temple on October 16, 2021.
Deltaplex News has obtained a copy of a letter sent to the Pine Bluff Police Department from Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter announcing the findings of the investigation.
According to the letter Pine Bluff Police Officer Ti Kelly was justified under Arkansas Code § 5-2-610 which states that a law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the law enforcement officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what the law enforcement officer reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.
The letter states that on October 16, 2021 a party was taking place at the Sahara Shrine Temple building on Main Street in Pine Bluff when shortly after midnight Pine Bluff Police Officer Ti Kelly head gunshots being fired at the Shrine Temple while he was in the parking lot of the main office of the Pine Bluff Police Department.
The report states that Officer Kelly then drove to the location of the party and approached the building as shots were being fired from inside of the building. Kelly observed a male, now being identified as a Person of Interest in the shooting, backing out of the building firing a handgun with a green laser into the building.
Kelly then fired four shots at this Person of Interest. Those four shots struck him, causing him to fall to the ground. Kelley then approached the male and secured .40 caliber Glock which had an extended magazine before rendering aid.
The male was then transported to Jefferson Regional before being transferred to Little Rock for treatment.
A second person was struck by the rounds fired by Officer Kelly after they passed through the Person of Interest and ricocheted off of a wall of the building before they struck him.
Both the Person of Interest and the second person struck by Kelly were hired as security for the party, but were not wearing any clothing or anything that designated them as security.
Witnesses from the scene were interviewed and confirmed someone at the door was firing a gun with a green laser into the building.
The letter states that Officer Kelly was reasonable in believing that deadly physical force was necessary to protect the people inside the Sahara Temple building from the use of deadly physical force by the Person of Interest, and therefore, Officer Ti Kelly was justified in shooting of the Person of Interest to protect others.
The investigation also confirmed that a third person shot at the scene, identified as 21-year-old Marquarius Williams, was not shot by Officer Kelly. Williams was killed during the shooting by another person, according to the investigation.
Pine Bluff Interim Police Chief Lloyd Franklin told Deltaplex News that he believed from the beginning that officers acted properly, and that is why he asked the Arkansas State Police to conduct an investigtion.