Arkansas grocery store shooting suspect pleads not guilty to capital murder charges, prosecutor says

A man accused of killing four people and injuring nine others during a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store has entered a not guilty plea to capital murder and other charges, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Travis Eugene Posey, 44, opened fire at the Mad Butcher in Fordyce on Friday, armed with a pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a bandoleer with dozens of extra shotgun rounds, authorities said.

Posey entered the not guilty plea during his first court appearance in Ouachita County, where he has been held since the shooting in neighboring Dallas County, Jeff Rogers, the prosecuting attorney for the 13th Judicial District of Arkansas, told CNN. He is being held without bond and his next court date has not been set.

CNN has reached out to Posey’s public defender for comment.

Posey could face additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation, the Arkansas State Police said in a news release.

Authorities believe Posey began engaging victims in the parking lot after exiting his truck and then entered the store, Secretary of Public Safety and Director of Arkansas State Police Mike Hagar said at a Sunday news conference.

He then fired “indiscriminately” at customers and employees inside the store, according to Hagar.

“The suspect arrived at the Mad Butcher armed,” he said. “We believe that most, if not all the rounds fired by the suspect were from the shotgun.”

A motive is unclear, police say.

Law enforcement responded to the shooting around 11:30 a.m. and exchanged gunfire with the suspect, state police said.

Travis Eugene Posey. - Ouachita County Sheriff's Office
Travis Eugene Posey. - Ouachita County Sheriff's Office

“He immediately engaged in a firefight with law enforcement, where they were able to stop the threat,” Hagar said.

Posey was treated for non-life threatening injuries and taken to the Ouachita County Detention Center, state police said in a news release.

Victims remembered by family as loving parents and grandparent

Seven people aged 20 to 65 were injured by gunfire and two responding officers were shot and wounded in the incident, according to police.

The four people killed have been identified as Callie Weems, 23; Ellen “Janie” Shrum, 81; Roy Sturgis, 50; and Shirley Taylor, 62.

Weems is survived by her 10-month-old daughter, Ivy, according to a GoFundMe page set up by family friends to help with her funeral expenses.

“With Ivy being left behind this is a great way for Helen (Callie’s mother) to also do something for her future. She loved her child and everyone witnessed her being a phenomenal mom,” the campaign, verified by GoFundMe, says.

The young victim’s mother, Helen Browning, is also mourning the death of another: She said Sturgis, a logger and a loving father, was part of her extended family, the Associated Press reported.

The oldest victim, Shrum, leaves behind her husband of 63 years, their three children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who knew her lovingly as “Grammie.”

“She was completely selfless,” her son, Tait Shrum, told CNN. “She didn’t have a selfish bone in her body.”

Taylor’s daughter, Angela Atchley, told CNN her mother loved her family and kids, describing her as “the hardest working woman I know.”

“We are completely lost,” she said.

CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.

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