LITTLE ROCK, Ark. July 11 2015 A Little Rock home was ransacked and the body of the man who lived there was found inside.
Little Rock police are searching for a suspect as neighbors are left in disbelief that something like this would happen on their street.
The victim was identified as 68-year-old Fred Pohnka Jr. on Wednesday afternoon.
“I just can’t believe it. I just talked to him on the phone,” Rochelle Moore explained. Shock and disbelief spread throughout the neighborhood as news traveled about Wednesday morning’s homicide. Moore added, “Really hard. Really hard to even imagine.”
Police say there was no forced entry but the house was ransacked. Inside they found Pohnka dead from a gunshot wound. Sheena Cleveland lives next door and said, “I wanted to cry.”
Police say when they arrived on scene, contact was made with two supervisors with a security company who told officers they had received a call from Regions Bank. Ponkha was reportedly a security guard at the bank. According to police, representatives of the bank told the security company that Ponkha had not arrived for work that morning, so his supervisors went to check on him.
Police said that no one answered the door when supervisors arrived at the home, so they called 911. Officers are said to have found Ponkha deceased in the kitchen.
Those who knew Pohnka say he was well liked by everyone in the community. Brenda Harris said, “He was like a pillar of the community. Anywhere he saw you he would speak. You walk by to go to the store, he would speak to you.”
News of the 16th homicide of the year infuriates Reverend Benny Johnson, with the Stop the Violence movement.
“Our city is out of control and we just need some help from the state.”
Johnson said he has asked to meet with the governor previously, but his request was not met. Which is why he personally hand-delivered a letter to the Governor’s office on Wednesday, requesting help.
Inside the Governor’s office, Johnson explained, “Wrote a letter to the Governor, gave it to you. I called back and hadn’t heard back from him for about a week. They said he never got the letter.” Johnson was told Governor Asa Hutchinson was not in the office at the time.
But back on Jackson Street, Moore says, “Just his…smile… his personality.”
Police continue combing through evidence, while the community grieves and remembers their neighbor as the friendly person they say he was. Harris said, “To see this on Jackson is really heartbreaking. He was a very nice man. He will be missed.”