Nation & World News

How Does A 107-Year-Old Die In A Police Shootout? Details Emerge

By Bill Chappell on September 9th, 2013

Monroe Isadore, the 107-year-old man who died in a shootout with a SWAT team Saturday in Arkansas, had been asked to move out of the house he was living in and into an apartment. That detail comes from Isadore’s roommate, who says the centenarian was very angry.

Pauline Lewis tells local TV news THV 11 that she had invited Isadore to live in her Pine Bluff, Ark., home in August. On Saturday, she and Isadore’s daughter had intended to help him move into an apartment. But he locked himself in his room with a pistol, and Lewis says she had to call the police.

“He was very angry. He got hostile. He was gonna kill somebody,” Lewis tells THV 11. “Monroe was in the room and he had the gun pointed out — said, ‘If you wanna live, you better’ — knock on wood — ‘get away from this door.’ ”

After officers arrived, “Laurie Barlow told police she had ‘come by the house to pick up [Isadore] to take him to his new home they had just got through cleaning up,’ ” according to KATV News. The report suggests Barlow is Isadore’s granddaughter; however, that information isn’t clarified.

Another detail from KATV suggests Isadore may have been disoriented:

“According to the report, Isadore locked himself in his room and refused to come out, and that’s when his granddaughter finally got him to open the door he pointed a gun and her and stated, ‘You better stop breaking into my house.’ ”

Police arrived around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Three hours later, after a SWAT team stormed his room, Isadore was dead. Lewis and the police say that Isadore was the first to open fire. Attempts to negotiate with him and to flush him out with tear gas had been unsuccessful.

“I think they didn’t have a choice but to shoot him,” Lewis tells THV 11. The news station reports that Lewis described the incident during an interview from Little Rock, where she’s visiting family “while friends cleaned bullets and broken glass out of her house.”

Neighbors say they heard a barrage of gunfire — perhaps as many as 30 shots. The ruckus drew the attention of a nearby Baptist church congregation.

“They were having services at the church (Old St. James Missionary Baptist Church, located a block away), and they must have stopped the services because they all came out and came to the corner,” Gregory Wilson tells The Pine Bluff Commercial.

Lewis says Isadore had recently purchased the gun for self-protection.

The Pine Bluff Police Department says it will hold a news conference about the incident later today. We’ll update this post as necessary.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.


More Stories in News from NPR

The burned Doctors Without Borders hospital is seen after explosions in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, on Saturday. Doctors Without Borders says 12 staff members and 10 patients were killed in the attack and 37 others wounded.

Doctors Without Borders: Kunduz Airstrike Was ‘War Crime’

A hospital was hit while U.S. forces were conducting an airstrike in the Afghan city; the aid group says 22 people were killed. NATO has said that it will conduct an investigation into the attack.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday. Chaffetz says he wants to mount a challenge for the House speaker's post.

As Chaffetz Jumps In, Race For House Speaker Turns Competitive

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he’s a better choice for the job than Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Flotsam In Area Where Cargo Ship Went Missing, Coast Guard Says

Authorities lost contact with the El Faro, a 790-foot cargo vessel, after it sent an satellite distress message amid hurricane-force winds and waves in the Bahamas.

South Carolina Gov.: Flooding At 1,000-Year Level

The major hurricane is likely to reach the Atlantic island of Bermuda by about midnight. Meanwhile, it is fueling heavy rain and “catastrophic flooding” in South Carolina.

Oregon Shooter’s Death Was Suicide, Authorities Say

The local sheriff, speaking at an afternoon news conference, also said that authorities had recovered yet another gun from the shooter’s residence, bringing to 14 the number of weapons linked to him.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments