Fort Smith Police Department © Copyright 1999-2005


Patrolman Randy Basnett


In Memory of:
Patrick Carr 1912 NEW!
Sam Booth 1931
William Bourland 1931
Ralph Howard 1931
Randy Basnett 1976
Ray Tate 1981
Billy Simms 1986
Administrative Services
Crime Mapping

Randy Monroe Basnett was born September 18, 1946 . He was a patrolman for the Fort Smith Police Department, and was shot and killed September 24, 1976 . Randy lived with his wife, Cindy, at 914 “P” Street in Barling , Arkansas . Living with Randy and Cindy were stepson Bill Howard, stepdaughter Shanon Howard, and Amanda (infant daughter of Randy and Cindy). Amanda Basnett Kinsey now has two daughters, Jessica (9), and Awbrey (2). Randy was a member of the First Baptist Church of Barling.

Patrolman Randy Basnett was shot and killed a few minutes after 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. He stopped at the service station across from Arkansas State Police headquarters in the 5800 block of Kelley Highway . While Officer Basnett was at the service station, John Edward Swindler pulled into the same location. Swindler was wanted for a double murder and other felonies in both Georgia and South Carolina . Information about Swindler—his crimes, the vehicle he was driving, and the fact that he was armed and dangerous—had been given to FSPD officers in their daily briefing that day. After Officer Basnett radioed dispatchers that Swindler was at the service station, back-up officers were dispatched to his location. Meanwhile, before other officers could reach Basnett’s location, Swindler reached inside his car, ostensibly to retrieve his driver’s license. Instead of a driver’s license, Swindler came out of the car with a pistol in his hand and began firing at Officer Basnett, hitting him twice in the chest. Swindler then scrambled back into his stolen vehicle and sped away. Officer Basnett, now mortally wounded, shot six times at Swindler’s vehicle as he fled. Two bullets struck Swindler and the remaining four hit the fleeing car. When officers found and arrested Swindler in a wooded area east of the scene of the shooting, he had several weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his possession. Officer Basnett died in the ambulance on the way to Sparks Regional Medical Center . He was laid to rest in the Roselawn Cemetery in Fort Smith on Monday, September 27. Patrolman Randy Basnett was 30 years old.