Newlyweds Spend Honeymoon in Hospital

A bride and groom are in critical condition today after being shot by a stranger who angrily interrupted their outdoor wedding, and then returned moments later to fire a gun at them.

The motive for the Saturday shooting remains a mystery to police.

The police did not name the wounded couple, but family members identified them as Melissa Smith and Mike Beavers.

The outdoor wedding was taking place in a park near a swimming area in Pope County, Ark., when Patrick Paul Duvall got into an argument with the bride and groom while the ceremony was under way, police and family members said.

"[Duvall] did not know who these people were as far we know," said Pope County Sheriff's Lt. Aaron DuVall, who said that despite the similar surname, he is in no way related to the shooter.


The bride's nephew, Roger Cunningham, told Little Rock, Ark., news station KTHV-DH that Duvall "was in no way associated with anyone at the party."

"[Duvall] and his female friend were there swimming," Cunningham told KTHV-DH. "Duvall then got into a heated argument with the bride, Melissa Smith, and groom, Mike Beavers."

"He went to his car, got a gun and began shooting at the wedding party," said Cunningham.

The bride and groom, who had completed their vows just minutes before the shooting started, were wounded. A wedding guest and a bystander were also shot, DuVall said.

The shooter fled the area in a stolen truck, police said.

The newlyweds remain hospitalized in critical condition today, along with the wounded guest. The bystander has been released from the hospital.

Duvall, 29, is facing four felony counts of first-degree battery and a felony charge of vehicle theft.