Deputy Chief shot four times talks about West Memphis shootout - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee


Deputy Chief shot four times talks about West Memphis shootout

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By Lori Brown - bio | email

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - The Deputy Chief who was shot four times by an AK-47 in his attempt to take down two suspects who shot and killed two West Memphis Police officers talked about that horrific day for the first time Sunday.

Chief Enforcement Officer W.A. Wren, 68, was finally back at home for the first time since the West Memphis shootout nearly two months ago, but his recovery is far from over.

"It's a miracle that I survived the ordeal," Wren said.

On May 20, after hearing that two people shot and killed West Memphis Police officers Bill Evans and Brandon Paudert, Busby said Wren came into his office and said, "let's go."

Wren said he had no idea the father and son were armed with an AK-47.  They spotted a car that fit the killers' description in a Walmart parking lot.

"We were getting out of the car when they started," Wren said.  "Opened fire on us."

Wren and Sheriff Dick Busby tried to shelter themselves behind Wren's car as suspects Jerry and Joe Kane opened fire on them.  Busby was hit once in the arm.  Wren was hit four times in the stomach.

Wren said a hero then showed up.  Arkansas Wildlife Officer Michael Neal came up from behind and rammed into the suspects' van.  Wren said the Kanes had already reloaded and began to shoot at Neal, who was unloading a 30-round magazine at the van.

"I told him I appreciate him saving our lives," Wren said.  "He was a miracle who happened to be close."

After the fight with the shooters was over, Wren was now facing a battle for his life.

"I knew I was hurt bad, but I wasn't going to give up," Wren said.  "I'm not one to give up."

Wren said he still is not giving up.

"Being shot four times in the stomach ain't too quick healing," Wren said.

Wren said he plans on giving everything to make a full recovery, but now, the worst is over.

"It was having to go through the pain and ten operations ... at The MED," Wren said.

Despite all he went through, Wren said he was thankful he and Busby caught the suspects.

"There would definitely have been a gun battle somewhere else," he said.  "They'd kill two police officers on the interstate.  They weren't going to stop for another one.  It wouldn't have made them any difference.  No telling what would have happened."

Wren rejected the title of hero.

"I was just doing my job that I was getting paid to do," Wren said.  "Someone had to do it, we happened to be the ones there at it."

Wren said he was able to eat a little and is able to get up and move around a bit.  He wanted to thank all the doctors and nurses at The MED who saved his life.

"It's just a blessing," Wren said.  "I thank the good Lord every day."

Busby was released from the hospital in the days following the shooting.

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