Suspect in Arkansas hospital shooting pleads not guilty

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man charged with fatally shooting a man visiting a patient at a Little Rock-area hospital pleaded not guilty Thursday to capital murder and aggravated assault.

A judge set bond at $500,000 for Raymond Lovett, 24, during a brief video arraignment. Lovett was arrested Wednesday in the shooting death of Leighton Whitfield at CHI St. Vincent North in Sherwood, a city of about 33,000 people northeast of Little Rock.

The hospital was placed on lockdown as authorities responded to the shooting, and Whitfield was found shot dead on the fourth floor of the facility. Lovett was arrested a little over an hour later at a gas station in Little Rock, about 15 miles away from the hospital.

Police have said the men knew each other and that Whitfield was visiting a patient at the hospital. Lovett’s next court appearance is set for Nov. 8.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.