Suspect in custody after 2 Arkansas officers shot

Associated Press

Hackett, Ark. — A man suspected of shooting and wounding two law enforcement officers in Arkansas on Wednesday has been taken in into custody, according to the local sheriff.

The suspect was arrested several hours after the shooting was reported around 7:20 a.m. in a rural, wooded area near Hackett, Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck tells Fort Smith television station KHBS.

Hollenbeck says a Hackett police officer suffered “superficial” wounds during the shooting, but he declined to release the condition of the sheriff’s deputy who was shot. Hollenbeck declined further questions and quickly left the scene to go to a hospital to visit the deputy.

The officers were shot while responding to an unspecified call for service, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Lt. Philip Pevehouse said. Deputies later surrounded a house where the suspect had barricaded himself inside, Pevehouse said.

Pevehouse said the man’s father called police earlier in the day asking officers to check in on his son, but he didn’t release details about the call.

Pevehouse didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking details from The Associated Press. Arkansas State Police is providing assistance but referred calls to local authorities.

Hackett is about 115 miles west of Little Rock.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he didn’t have details about the shooting but said it underscored the danger that the state’s law enforcement officers face.

“It’s a risky business and it really illustrates the importance of our support for law enforcement,” Hutchinson told reporters at an event in North Little Rock.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, whose district includes part of Sebastian County, also didn’t have details about the incident but echoed the governor’s support for police statewide.

“This has to stop,” Westerman said. “It’s a shame the price that law enforcement officers are paying right now and, again, I don’t know any details about what’s happening here, but my heart and prayer is with them and their families.”