JONESBORO — The man who fatally shot himself Monday in the 200 block of Allis Street has been identified as Patrick Alston, 59, of Jonesboro.
The Jonesboro Police Department released the body camera footage Tuesday morning in hopes to clear up some “enthusiastic commentary” captured in a Facebook Live video, it announced.
“Monday’s incident was very tragic – in more ways than one. A man lost his life, a family lost their loved one and the (residents) of Jonesboro were left with many questions about the incident,” the announcement read. “As your police department, we want to continue to be transparent. We are here today so that you can see the full story for yourself.”
Alston was driving his vehicle when an officer spotted him running red lights near the intersection of Caraway Road and Matthews Avenue, records show. He failed to pull over, as seen in bodycam footage, and Sgt. John Porbeck terminated the stop.
His silver 2013 Mazda 5 was later spotted outside a residence on Allis Street and when officers made contact with him, he was hesitant to talk to officers, give his driver’s license and registration. After a request to exit the vehicle, Alston brandished a gun and pointed it to his head.
“Listen. We’re not going to do anything but (if) that joker points that gun at us, we’re not going to die today,” an officer on the scene said.
He told officers that JPD had “tortured” him for 20 years and there was nothing they could do. Alston cited a March 2020 altercation with several teenagers as evidence of that.
“I’m not going to jail. … You don’t realize how much you (expletive) up my life already,” he said.
Alston was arrested on March 1, 2020, after he called police on the children near the intersection of Labaume and Allen streets, according to the incident report. It indicates that he pointed a plastic replica revolver at the victims and threatened to shoot them.
Online court records show that formal charges were not filed in that case. A traffic case, however, was dismissed Tuesday, citing Alston’s death.
During an hour-plus negotiation, Alston revealed to Officer Jeremy Wheelis that he was a cab driver, grandfather and U.S. Navy veteran. As time went on, officers disclosed that he alternated pointing the gun between his head and his chest.
“My life is over,” Alston said as a female family member and Wheelis pleaded with him on the phone.
“It’s absolutely not,” Wheelis said.
“Yeah. It is. Goodbye,” he said before a shuffling was heard in the video.
Officers heard a suspected gunshot and saw Alston “slumped in his seat.” Police later used a shotgun that expels beanbags to gain entry into his vehicle.
Alston’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock. The weapon used in his suicide was not noted in the initial incident report released Tuesday.
“We are proud of how all officers handled this very unfortunate situation,” JPD posted Tuesday.