Records: Man shot near base reported 'spy devices' at home

AP News
Posted: Jun 16, 2015 5:49 PM
Records: Man shot near base reported 'spy devices' at home

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — The armed man who was shot and critically wounded while trying to get into Little Rock Air Force Base had suffered financial problems and hallucinations, and believed "spy devices" were planted at his home by base officials, according to documents released Tuesday.

Investigators said it's unclear why Larry McElroy drove his SUV over a curb outside the base's main gate on Monday, struck a street sign and exited the vehicle holding a rifle. The 43-year-old McElroy, who remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition, was then shot by guards.

"There was no apparent motive nor any ties to terrorism," the FBI said in a statement Tuesday, noting that no explosives were found in his vehicle or home.

The agency didn't release any details about McElroy, who hasn't been charged. But records from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office show that McElroy, a civilian who lived near the base in Jacksonville, had a handful of interactions with local law enforcement.

In January, he told a deputy he had found three "spy devices" on his home's electronics and chandelier that he believed were placed by "General N.B. Forrest and Colonel Sanders" from the base. The names were possibly references to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"Mr. McElroy was advised the likelihood of this being factual was pretty slim, however he demanded the events be documented for his safety," according to a report released by the sheriff.

A deputy also went to McElroy's home last year after his father reported that McElroy claimed he'd been held captive by more than 25 people during the day. McElroy was "hallucinating" and pointing out individuals who weren't present, according to a sheriff's report.

His father told the deputy his son had used drugs in the past, and "this was not the first time he had fits of hallucinations." A current phone number for McElroy's father and other relatives couldn't be found Tuesday by The Associated Press.

McElroy was also arrested in 2013 for failing to appear in court on an unsafe driving violation.

Court records also show that McElroy and a woman who lived with him at his Jacksonville home, identified as his wife in other documents, filed for bankruptcy in 2010. They reported more than $112,000 in assets and more than $230,000 in liabilities.

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An attorney who represented McElroy in that case, Mary Ellen Vandegrift, declined to comment Tuesday.

Shortly after the shooting Monday, the base commander, Col. Charles Brown Jr, said it was unclear whether the SUV's driver fired his weapon, how many shots were fired or if the man exchanged words with the two guards before the shooting. Brown also said it was unclear why the man wanted to get on the base, which is a major C-130 aircraft training facility and home to more than 8,000 active-duty military personnel and civilian employees.

The base didn't respond to a message seeking updates Tuesday.

The incident was reported around 9:15 a.m. near the main gate along busy U.S. 67 in Jacksonville. Heavily armed security personnel quickly sealed off access to the base, and the main gate was closed for several hours.


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