WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The man arrested for a Fayetteville homicide that occurred in August has confessed to shooting at the victim, according to a preliminary report from Fayetteville police.
Dominic Travis Heal, 20, of Elkins, is accused of first-degree murder, unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, tampering with physical evidence, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of theft of a firearm.
According to a preliminary report, a Fayetteville resident reported her 2017 white Toyota Sienna minivan was stolen from her driveway on Aug. 12.
Video surveillance from neighboring residences was reviewed by police and showed two men walking the neighborhood checking door handles on vehicles. In one video, the minivan is recorded traveling south followed closely by another vehicle.
According to the report, investigators believe that heal was one of the men.
On Aug. 15, Fayetteville police officers responded to 920 N. Leverett Avenue in reference to a shooting.
Several 911 callers had reported hearing gunshots, and one of the callers reported seeing two men, one of which appeared to be bleeding, leave in a car.
Officers discovered a large amount of blood in the parking lot and sidewalk leading to an apartment. A firearm was recovered near the area. 9mm bullet shell casings were found in the roadway near the apartment as well.
Shortly after, Washington Regional Medical Center advised they had received a male patient with a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as 22-year-old Aveyun Smith, was pronounced dead at the medical center.
On Aug. 17, investigators located two witnesses in reference to the homicide, who reported being in the parking lot with the victim at the time of the shooting.
Both of the witnesses reported seeing a white minivan enter the parking lot of the apartment complex prior to the shooting. The van reportedly left before returning a minute later, this time stopping in the roadway and focusing a green laser on Smith before gunshots were heard.
On Sept. 14, police spoke to another witness who said that Heal had lent Smith a gun days prior to the shooting. The witness said that Smith failed to return the firearm, which angered Heal.
On Sept. 23, an officer with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission received a call about an abandoned white minivan near Arkansas State Highway 220.
When the officer arrived, he located the van, and the license plate matched the one that was reported stolen on Aug. 12. The officer noted that the interior of the van had been set on fire.
A shell casing recovered from the van was found to be consistent with the same caliber found at the initial shooting scene.
On Oct. 2, Heal was arrested for breaking or entering and theft of property for a separate investigation.
During a search of a residence connected to Heal, the frame of a stolen 9mm pistol with a green laser light attached was located. Another stolen firearm was also found at the apartment.
On Oct. 16, Heal was interviewed by police and admitted to stealing the white minivan and having a feud with Smith.
Heal told police that Smith had stolen a firearm and cash from him. Heal admitted to locating Smith and confessed to firing his gun out the sunroof and toward the victim. He said that he observed Smith with a pistol and believed he had fired shots toward him.
According to the report, Heal admitted to moving the white minivan to a different location and later lighting it on fire in a rural Prairie Grove location in an attempt to hid evidence. He also confessed to disposing of a portion of the firearm he used in a creek in an attempt to hide evidence.
Heal has a court appearance scheduled for Oct. 23 in Washington County.