One Officer Dies in Arkansas Police Shooting

Suspect is in custody
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 10, 2016 4:54 PM CDT
Law enforcement block an intersection during a stand off after two officers where shot in Sebastian County in Western Arkansas on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016.   (Michael Woods/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazettevia AP)

(Newser) – An Arkansas deputy died Wednesday after being shot while responding to a call at a house, authorities say. Sebastian County Deputy Bill Cooper was pronounced dead at a hospital around 1:15pm, Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said during a news conference. Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells was also shot and suffered superficial wounds, the AP reports. Hollenbeck said the suspect, 34-year-old Billy Monroe Jones, who is now in custody, wanted to cause a "ruckus" ahead of a court appearance. The sheriff said Jones was due in a Fort Smith courtroom Wednesday for a hearing on whether a previous suspended sentence should be revoked. Court records show he has had a drug conviction along with a handful of minor charges.

After the shooting, the suspect barricaded himself inside the house for more than 4.5 hours before being arrested. Authorities said the injured officers went to the home, about 6 miles from the Oklahoma border, after Jones pointed a weapon at his father, who called 911. After the shootings, dozens of police vehicles, including a SWAT truck, quickly descended on the area, a rural, wooded area near Hackett, a town of about 800 residents. Police say Jones also shot a police robot and a police dog, the AP reports. Hollenbeck says the suspect shot and disabled the robot that was being used to confirm Jones was inside the home where he was holding officers at bay. The police dog was shot during the gunfire and ran from the scene as its handler and other officers scrambled for cover. The sheriff said the dog apparently ran into a heavily wooded area nearby and had not been found as of Wednesday afternoon. (Read more shooting stories.)

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