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Wildlife officer saluted for valor in West Memphis showdown

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Mike Wintroath/Associated Press Wildlife officer Michael Neal (right) speaks with West Memphis Det. Jimmy Evans after a ceremony Thursday in Little Rock in which Neal was presented the state's Medal of Valor for his part in stopping two suspects in the shooting deaths of two West Memphis officers.

The Arkansas wildlife officer who rammed the vehicle carrying the suspected killers of two West Memphis police officers on May 20 described the horrific firefight that left the two gunmen dead.

“I saw the need, and I reacted upon it,” officer Michael K. Neal of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Thursday.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe presented Neal with the Medal of Valor on Thursday for his heroism following the fatal shootings of West Memphis police Sgt. Brandon Paudert and officer Bill Evans on Interstate 40.

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