Trooper Louis Bryant joined the Arkansas State Police in December, 1974 and had been employed with the State Police for ten years when he was killed. On June 30, 1984, during a routine traffic stop south of De Queen, Arkansas, survivalist Richard Wayne Snell fatally wounded State Trooper Louis Bryant of Texarkana. Snell fled the scene and an hour later was captured in Broken Bow, OK. As Bryant’s wife, Wynona, and their two children and nephew, were on their way to have lunch with him, Wynona recognized her husband’s vehicle by his identification license and she stopped and proceeded to get out of her vehicle to greet her husband, instead she discovered his body lying in the front of his vehicle. She immediately administered CPR, to no avail. She then got on the police radio and called for help. Trooper Bryant had been shot twice, with one bullet piercing his lung.

Snell received life without parole for this murder. He was later convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of Bill Stumpp, a Texarkana, AR pawn shop owner in which this murder had gone unsolved for two years. It was because of the weapon he used to kill Trooper Bryant, came back stolen in the pawn shop robbery/murder that police were able to link Snell to Stumpp’s murder.

Snell would remain on death row until 1995, when he was executed on April 19, the same day of bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Because of Snell’s ties with militia, early investigations looked for a link between the bombing and Snell’s execution.

As police officers, from the De Queen Police Department, who were to serve as pallbearers at Trooper Bryant’s funeral were traveling to Texarkana, four officers were killed when a driver lost control of his tractor-trailer rig on U.S. Highway 71. Trooper Bryant was survived by his wife, Wynona Bryant and two children, Louis Perry Bryant, II and Kimberly Nicole Bryant.


Louis Bryant Chapter of the National Black State Troopers Coalition 300 E. Roosevelt Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72206.
Louis Bryant