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This week marks 15th anniversary of UCA shooting that killed two students



Conway, Arkansas – The University of Central Arkansas was the scene of a horrific shooting that occurred 15 years ago this week.

On October 26, 2008, two students were shot and killed by someone inside a passing car.

“I remember that night like it was yesterday,” said Captain Jamie Boothe with the University of Central Arkansas Police Department (UCAPD).

Being the final officer in the department still on duty that night, he claimed he will never forget it.

“I was the on-duty supervisor that night,” said Boothe. “I actually heard the gunshots before they actually came in.”

Around nine o’clock that Sunday night, it happened. According to investigators, gunshots broke out when a car passed through the campus.

Ryan Henderson and Chavares Block were struck and killed outside Arkansas Hall.

“You know, Virginia Tech had just happened. Illinois had just happened. Of course, you talk about it and you train for it and you hope it never happens, and it was like this is horrible to be on our campus,” said John Merguie, Chief of UCAPD.

In remembrance of their classmates, kids gathered the following day around the fountain holding candles. Memories of them were shared by some of their friends.

“I was just about to meet up with him before everything happened,” said one UCA student the day after the shooting.

Three of the four persons that investigators detained in connection with the event testified that Kelcey Perry was the shooter.

Perry ultimately entered a guilty plea to first-degree murder and received a 40-year jail sentence.

“To lose two young men like that it was senseless,” Chief Merguie explained.

Fifteen years later, a memorial unity garden honors the event.

Across the edge are two benches bearing their names. Later this week, Captain Boothe will participate in a ceremony where he will lay a memorial wreath.

That event is scheduled to take place in front of Arkansas Hall on Thursday at 1:40 p.m.



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