An officer killed by a fleeing suspect in Arkansas is a native of Cedar Falls. The case captured national attention after an 18-year-old went into a smalltown bar in Massachussetts last Wednesday night, ordered a drink, then attacked patrons with a hatchet and then a gun. Jason Robida fled and a nationwide manhunt ensued.
On Sunday his car was spotted by James Sell, a parttime police officer in Gassville, Arkansas. Sell had graduated from high school in Cedar Falls in 1961 and friends who remember him say only that was quiet and reserved. Sell was using radar to monitor traffic on Sunday when he set out to stop Robida, and was gunned down. The incident alerted law enforcement to Robida’s whereabouts, and after a chase he was fatally wounded in a shootout with police.