Suspect Takes His Own Life After Killing Police Officer

Monday, March 26th 2007, 6:04 am
By: News On 6

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ The brother of a man arrested by police earlier in the day fatally shot a Fort Smith police officer, wounded his brother's ex-girlfriend and then killed himself after fleeing into Oklahoma, police say.

The officer slain Friday night was identified as Daniel C. Martinez, 33, who had served as a police officer in Oklahoma several years before joining Fort Smith police. He was shot in the head and Donna Stevens, 22, was shot in the back, shoulder and elbow as she ran away from the front door of a house where she and Martinez had gone to get her baby son, police spokesman Sgt. Jarrard Copeland said Saturday.

Richard Englebright, 26, the suspect and the brother of Stevens' former boyfriend, fled from the home in a car and killed himself as an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer approached his vehicle near Spiro, Okla.

Martinez was taken to Sparks Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Stevens and Martinez had gone to the Englebright home to get Stevens' baby son following the arrest earlier in the day of her ex-boyfriend, Bobby Englebright, 24. Copeland said Stevens and Bobby Englebright had a dispute earlier Friday at the residence when she went to get her baby.

Police said that, when she returned with three friends, the younger Englebright reportedly assaulted one of the friends with a razor knife. Bobby Englebright was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and battery and jailed in the Sebastian County Jail, Copeland said.

About 9:24 p.m. that evening, Martinez was dispatched to the home to help Stevens, who had asked for an officer to accompany her while she picked up her baby. Martinez met Stevens in a parking lot next to the residence, and they walked to the front door.

Richard Englebright came to the door, told them to wait a minute, then shut the door, Copeland said. Englebright then returned with a 9mm handgun and shot the police officer, then shot Stevens as she fled, Copeland said. Richard Englebright then drove off in a black Dodge Neon toward Arkoma, Okla.

Stevens was taken to St. Edward Mercy Medical Center before being airlifted to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock. Stevens' grandmother took the baby into her care, Copeland said.

Stevens was listed in serious condition Saturday, hospital spokesman Jon Parham said.

Kera Philippi, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Highway Patrol, said Trooper Mason Brooks got a description of the suspect's car and realized he was behind it on Oklahoma 9 near Spiro. Brooks called for backup and was getting ready to stop the suspect's car, when it turned onto a road and stopped, Philippi said.

Brooks turned on his emergency lights and was getting out of his patrol car when he heard a gunshot and saw the driver's side window of Englebright's car shatter, Philippi said. The officers found Englebright shot in the head, Philippi said.

Martinez had served for several years with the Poteau and Panama police departments in Oklahoma before becoming police chief in Shady Point and taking the same job in Wister, both also in Oklahoma. He joined the Fort Smith Police Department on July 3.

Martinez is survived by his wife, Alice, and five children.

He was only the tenth Fort Smith officer to die in the line of duty, and was the first since 1986. It was the first shooting death of a Fort Smith officer since 1981.