The man suspected of shooting two Arkansas police officers — including a police chief — was taken into custody Wednesday after a tense standoff lasting several hours, multiple outlets reported.
Sebastian County Deputy Bill Cooper was in extremely critical condition in the intensive care unit at Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith. Hackett Chief of Police Darrell Spells had been treated and released from the hospital after being grazed in the head by a bullet, NEWS5 reported.
The accused shooter was identified as Billy M. Jones, an official from the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department told 40/29 News. Spells and Cooper were at Jones’ house for a family disturbance call around 7:20 a.m. SCSD spokesman Philip Pevehouse said Jones’ father called police earlier Wednesday asking officers to check in on his son, but Pevehouse didn’t release details about the call.
NEWS5 listed multiple prior offenses for Jones, including a 2007 conviction for manufacture and possession of a controlled substance and a 2011 conviction for theft of property. He was charged in February 2016 with possession of firearms and possession of a controlled substance.
Three local departments and the state police responded to the incident, with one officer driving at least 50 miles to get to the scene, NEWS5 reported. Two police helicopters had been deployed and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said a SWAT team was on site.
A person who answered the phone at the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office declined to provide further information on the incident and told FoxNews.com that the department was “under emergency.”
My thoughts and prayers are with the two police officers shot in Sebastian County, Arkansas. #LESM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016
Spells took over as police chief in December 2013 in Hackett, a town of just over 800 people about 170 miles west of Little Rock.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the shooting underscored the danger officers face statewide and illustrated how important it is for the community to support law enforcement.
— Dillon Thomas (@5NEWSDillon) August 10, 2016
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, whose district includes part of Sebastian County, echoed the governor’s support for police.
“It’s a shame the price that law enforcement officers are paying right now,” Westerman said.