Subject charged, another named in the murder of Major Philip Wise

Subject charged, another named in the murder of Major Philip Wise

After a nearly three-month investigation, the North Little Rock Police arrested Laquan Javaris Fitzpatrick, 19, on March 16 and charged him with capital murder in conjunction with the murder of Major Phillip Wise, who was shot outside of the North Little Rock, Ark., corps on Christmas Eve (See story in New Frontier, volume 28, number 1).

Police Chief Danny Bradley said that Fitzpatrick had been a suspect in the Wise shooting, which is still believed to be a botched robbery, since December.

On March 29, police named 20-year-old Brandon Leavy of North Little Rock the second suspect in the shooting. Leavy was fatally wounded in a shootout during an attempted robbery of a convenient store in January, just a couple weeks after the Christmas Eve killing of Wise.

The Salvation Army responded to news of the second release with the following:

“The Salvation Army is aware of the latest development in the Major Philip Wise murder investigation. We again wish to express our thanks and gratitude to the North Little Rock Police Department for their tireless work on this case. The Salvation Army continues to pray for all involved during this difficult time and hopes that the community joins us in remembering Major Wise for his lifelong commitment to serving others rather than the tragic circumstances of his death.”

Continued prayer
“We continue to mourn the unimaginable loss of a fallen comrade, but also recognize our role in being Christ’s presence for those so deeply impacted,” said Major Ken Luyk, divisional commander of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division in the Southern Territory. “We have witnessed the grace and strength of Christ at work in Major Cindy Wise’s life and the life of the North Little Rock Corps.

“TV cameras, local and state leaders, soldiers and friends gathered for a celebration of Phil’s life,” Luyk said. “Cindy and her corps family gave powerful testimony not only to the faithfulness of God in their own lives, but also clearly spoke of Phil’s witness and service for Christ in the very community where his life ended.”

It goes without saying that Cindy, her children, family and corps still covet the prayers of Salvationists from all over the world.

After a news conference held by the North Little Rock Police on March 16, Captain Cindy Wise said she couldn’t yet forgive the man who killed her husband.

“I’m working on that,” she said. “With God’s help, I’ll get there. I want to get there.”

The Major Philip Wise Memorial Fund will allow the Youth School of Performing Arts at the North Little Rock Corps to train young musicians. Currently, the fund has raised $14,000 and the corps is in the process of ordering instruments. Donations can be made by mailing a check payable to The Salvation Army at 1111 West Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. On the check, please note the funds to be directed to the Major Philip Wise Memorial Fund.

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