Patrolman Henry Lee Callanen

Patrolman Henry Lee Callanen

Little Rock Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Saturday, May 15, 1993

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Henry Lee Callanen

Patrolman Henry Callanen was shot and killed while moonlighting at a local McDonald's. While going to make a bank deposit, he was shot and killed by one of two suspects who confronted him. 24 hours later a traffic stop of a Mustang driven by a 19-year-old who had committed a traffic violation and had no drivers license led to his arrest and a charge for Patrolman Callanen's murder. The murder weapon was found in his car.

On November 7, 1993, the killer was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was released in leu of bond until his appeal was heard. While free he was arrested again on traffic charges. He lost his appeal and was sent to prison. On August 1, 2002, he applied for executive clemency, stating it was his companion who was the killer. Clemency was denied by Governor Mike Huskabee. On April 7, 1994, his accomplice, 18, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. As of December 15, 2022, the one denied clemency was in prison.

While free, an Arkansas Sate Representative introduced a bill that led to the elimination of all post-conviction appeal bonds for convicted murderers.

Patrolman Callanen had been with the Little Rock Police Department for 36 years. He was survived by his sister and niece.


  • Age 62
  • Tour 36 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

off duty, robbery, secondary employment

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

Officer Callanen and my uncle were regular speaking friends while Officer Callanen walked the beat in Downtown Little Rock. My uncle was a disabled Korean War Veteran and I always enjoyed observing my uncle exchange greetings with Officer Callanen. Officer Callanen was a master at politeness and he spoke or nodded to all he passed. His was a wonderful spirit and he was simply just a wonderful Christian. It was a tremendous heartbreak to me to learn that he had been killed so senselessly. I still miss seeing him today and think about him often.

Brian Eubanks
Regular Citizen

August 30, 2022

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