As a small Arkansas town buried two officers gunned down during a traffic stop, new details emerged today about the father and son whose strident anti-government views led them to kill the officers and later die in a gun battle with police.
West Memphis Police Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, and Officer Bill Evans, 38, were shot to death during a traffic stop, prompting a manhunt that ended with Jerry R. Kane Jr., 45, and son Joseph, 16, dead in a hail of gunfire in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Sheriff Dick Busby of Crittenden County and his chief deputy, W. A. Wren, were wounded.
Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to the fallen police officers. Family members, neighbors and law enforcement officers filled the West Memphis High School gym to remember Paudert, 39, whose casket was draped in an American flag. He is the son of West Memphis Police Chief Robert Paudert. Hours later, Evans' funeral was held in the gym.
A portrait has emerged of Kane as a man with strong anti-government views who toured the country with his son offering seminars on what he called "mortgage fraud" and debt avoidance, according to interviews and Kane's Internet video. Kane had given a two-day seminar in Las Vegas that ended May 16.
Included in the portrait is a disturbing view of his son.
"Jerry raised a time bomb," said Patrick Suarez, a Kane family friend, told ABCNews.com. "Fathers have to be careful with what they do with their sons."
Donna Le Wray, 50, of Clearwater, Fla., who identified herself as Kane's common law wife, was quoted in published reports saying that authorities told her it was the son, Joseph, who opened fire on the police.
"The story is a child who never had a parent who was a parent in a mainstream responsible way," Suarez said. "We knew Joe when he was 10-, 11-, 12-years-old and, with all due respect to the dead, he was a pain in the butt. He was rude. He treated elders as equals. He was brash. He didn't know how to limit or establish any boundaries."
When Suarez and others tried speaking with the father about his son, Suarez said, Kane would laugh.
"I would say, 'First of all, kids needs to be in school,'" Suarez recalled. "And Jerry would say, 'Well, I'm homeschooling him.' But Jerry you're not a teacher… I said, "Joe is not civil. You know he needs to learn manners.' And Jerry just laughed. I said, 'Jerry, this isn't funny."
Authorities said Officer Evans stopped a white minivan on a highway and that Paudert arrived as backup. It was unclear why the van was stopped. The minivan's occupants gunned down the officers using an AK-47 assault rifle, authorities said.
Police killed the two suspects during a shootout about 90 minutes later in which two other law enforcement officers were wounded.
The investigation into the Kanes quickly turned up lots of complaints about them.
"Every elected official here in Clark County [Ohio] has a file on him," Sheriff Gene Kelly said of Jerry Kane.
Kelly said Kane visited his office in 2004 after officers had ticketed him for driving with an expired license plate and without seat belts. A judge had sentenced Kane to six days of community service.
"He was very upset with the judge," Kelly said. "He advised me that he did not need a license plate and that he is a free man. He said the judge was attempting to enslave him."