June 17, 2010
Little Rock, AR – It was a day to remember for Arkansas
Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer Michael Neal. Neal was
honored today for his heroics during a fierce gun battle in West
Memphis. Gov. Mike Beebe presented Neal with the Medal of Valor
for his actions May 20.
Beebe said Neal’s efforts to stop two gunmen who had killed two
West Memphis police officers and wounded two Crittenden County
sheriff’s officers probably saved many lives. “His training kicked
in,” Beebe said. “Further tragedy was averted and avoided by his
trained, heroic, selfless action."
Neal rammed his AGFC vehicle into a minivan carrying 17-year-old
Joe Kane and his 45-year-old father, Jerry R. Kane. The Kanes
killed West Memphis Police Department officers Brandon Paudert and
Bill Evans during a traffic stop on Interstate 40. They also
wounded Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Deputy Chief W.A.
Wren during a shootout in the West Memphis Walmart parking lot in
which the Kanes were killed.
Neal also was recognized by the AGFC, Sen. Jim Luker of Wynne, the
Crittenden County Quorum Court and the West Memphis Police
Department. Neal is assigned to Lee County and has been a wildlife
officer since 2007.