2 Ark. officers slain in roadside shootout mourned - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WEST MEMPHIS OFFICERS KILLED - CONTINUING COVERAGE

2 Ark. officers slain in roadside shootout mourned

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People began arriving more than an hour early Monday for the 10 a.m. ceremony for Officer Brandon Paudert at the West Memphis High School gymnasium. People began arriving more than an hour early Monday for the 10 a.m. ceremony for Officer Brandon Paudert at the West Memphis High School gymnasium.
Officer Brandon Paudert's casket is carried from the church after the service. Officer Brandon Paudert's casket is carried from the church after the service.
WEST MEMPHIS, AR -

By CHUCK BARTELS Associated Press Writer

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (AP) - Two West Memphis police officers slain during a roadside shootout with an anti-government advocate and his son were remembered Monday as dedicated public servants and as loving fathers.

Hundreds of mourners, including family, friends, neighbors and their fellow law enforcement officers packed the West Memphis High School auditorium to pay tribute to the fallen officers, Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans.

Paudert, the 39-year-old son of Police Chief Robert Paudert, will be remembered for living the "code of law enforcement, which is to protect and serve," and for doing it "with passion," police department chaplain the Rev. Billy Beech told mourners.

Beech said Paudert's family was grateful for the support they had received, "the hugs, the cards, the phone calls, the food, you just being here today."

"Don't stop ... that's what they'll need in the days to come."

During the service, the police chief comforted his slain son's wife, daughter and two sons.

Hours later, mourners paid tribute to Evans, a 38-year-old father of two who was engaged to be married.

It was Evans who pulled over a white van being driven by 45-year-old Jerry Kane of Forest, Ohio, and his 16-year-old son, Joseph Kane.

Authorities say the Kanes fired on the officers with AK-47 assault rifles, killing them. About 90 minutes later, police killed the two suspects during a shootout in which two other officers were wounded.

Pastor Rusty Blann said Evans had a way of making those he talked to feel like they "were the most important person on the whole earth."

"He loved bringing laughter into your life," Blann said.

Many questions remain about what led to the shootout, and both the police department and FBI declined Monday to comment about their investigations.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said the agency would not yet disclose the reason for the traffic stop.

"We're not going to discuss any aspect of the investigation until it's closed and has been reviewed by a prosecuting attorney," Sadler said.

Kane had a long history with police and recently complained about being busted at a "Nazi checkpoint" near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records show he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity.

Kane made money holding debt-elimination seminars around the country, and he was known for railing against the government, saying it held no authority over him.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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