Arkansas State Police have released footage of the fatal police pursuit of Stephen Kyle McMasters

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The footage shows then-Officer Christopher Shull chasing after McMasters for several minutes. Shull collides with the utility vehicle three times without the vehicle stopping. Then, Shull loses distance on the vehicle and increases his speed to catch up. For a fourth time, as the UTV’s brake lights come on, Shull collides with the UTV, this time with more force – 68 MPH, according to the dash camera.

“I just hit him dispatch,” Shull says over the radio. “He wrecked out.”

A grand jury declined to indict Shull on charges including negligent homicide, as reported below.
A fired Bay police officer will not face criminal charges after a pursuit that ended in a man’s death in October 2023.

On Thursday, June 6, 2024, a grand jury decided not to indict Christopher Shull in the pursuit death of Stephen Kyle McMasters. According to Shull’s lawyer, Russell A. Wood of Wood Law Firm, Shull was “completely vindicated.”

“Mr. Shull is pleased with the Grand Jury’s decision. He and his family have been vilified, intimidated, threatened and harassed as a result of this matter. Despite receiving letters from his Chief, Assistant Chief, and Sergeant clearing him of any wrongdoing in this matter, the Mayor and Chief of the City of Bay terminated and completely abandoned Officer Shull despite him doing nothing wrong. Officer Shull did not PIT Mr. McMasters as has been repeatedly alleged. While it is tragic, Mr. McMaster’s death was the result of his own actions and his extremely dangerous and reckless behavior. Fortunately, the Grand Jury reached the same conclusion after seeing the evidence.

“Mr. Shull would like to thank the Southern States Police Benevolent Association (PBA) for supporting him and providing him unlimited legal representation in this matter. Without the PBA, Mr. Shull was left completely alone.”

Then-officer Shull has been dismissed on November 3, 2023 from the Bay Police Department amid an Arkansas State Police investigation into a fatal October 2023 incident involving McMasters. The incident occurred when Shull pursued McMasters, suspecting his side-by-side vehicle was stolen. McMasters died following the pursuit.

Shull’s attorney stated that Shull acted according to department policies and blamed McMasters’ actions for his death. Wood also noted that the scene was littered with beer cans, suggesting McMasters may have been intoxicated.

However, the McMasters family, through their attorney Jeannette Robertson, vehemently disputed these claims, calling them “abhorrent and knowingly false.” They assert that Shull used excessive force by ramming McMasters’ vehicle with his unmarked police car, leading to McMasters’ death. The family also refuted the allegation that McMasters was drunk, maintaining that the beer cans found were unopened and irrelevant to the incident.

Bay Mayor Paul Keith stated that Shull’s services were no longer needed, but did not link the firing directly to the investigation. Police Chief Keith Milam confirmed Shull did not violate department policy.

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