15 June

New Respect for Game and Fish Enforcement Officers

by Jim Taylor

AGFC Officer Michael Neal's Truck took over 15 rounds
from the killers guns.
A traffic stop by two West Memphis, Ar police officers would unleash a story of horrific proportions and unbelievable bravery involving state and local law enforcement officers over the course of the next two hours.

Thursday May 20, 2010, two West Memphis Police Officers, Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans lives ended brutally after being shot during an interstate traffic stop on I-40. Both officers were highly trained drug interdiction specialist who fell victim to a cowardly ambush from a passenger shooting an AK-47. The two heavily armed fanatics fled the bloody scene in a white van, the passenger still firing at the officers lifeless bodies as they drove away. The brutal nature of the killings had brought all branches of law enforcement out if full force. Within 90 mins the villains were spotted and intercepted in a Walmart parking lot in West Memphis by two lightly armed officers of the Crittenden County Sheriffs department, Sheriff Dick Busby and his deputy. As they pulled in front of the van to  force a stop,  they too found themselves quickly overwhelmed in a blazing gun battle by the same automatic weapons that had taken the lives of the two officers 90 mins earlier. The toll now is two dead police officers, a wounded sheriff and critically wounded deputy. Sheriff Busby and his deputy now suffering multiple gun shot wounds are helplessly pinned down behind their patrol car. Their options were limited and time was running out. With the two officers wounded and bleeding badly the outcome looked grim.

Michael Neal, a state Game and Fish officer,  had been following the details on his radio and was already in route to the Wal-Mart parking lot.  As he pulls in he see's what appeared a dire situation. The suspect had just shot two more officer and were about to leave the parking lot. What officer Neal does next is nothing less than incredible. Officer Neal's immediate reaction is to contain the threat and he is determined that there  is no way he is going to let these killers leave that parking lot.  Neal aims his Game and Fish issued pick-up at the killers van and puts the pedal to the metal! Like a Kamakazi fighter taking automatic fire all the way to his target, officer Neal slams his Arkansas Game and Fish Commission issued truck into the driver side of the bad guys van.   It was reported that the impact may have killed one shooter, the elder Kane. It obviously disrupted the shooters and disabled their van and prohibited them from fleeing again. Officer Neal took 15 rounds into his windshield hood and truck. Other police officers arriving at the scene quickly converged on the now crumpled van and dispatched the remaining bad guy with a few precise round.
AGFC Officer Micheal Neal

Michael Neal's incredibly brave action effectively ended the gun battle and probably saved the sheriff and his deputy that day. Officer Neal's weapon of choice, a 2500HD series CHEVY!

New Found Respect.. the next time a game and fish officer asks to see your hunting or fishing license you better say YES SIR and wholeheartedly comply.

Michael Kent Neal is a 2001 graduate of Northwest Mississippi Community College. In February, 2008 he became a Wildlife Officer for the Arkansas Game and Fish. Michael is married to Donna Pressler and they are the proud parents of three girls, Kentlee, Kali & Kooper.

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