A police officer was responding to a 911 call on Sunday morning who reportedly heard screaming and screaming and then saw a shirtless man “assaulting a person on the ground,” Fort Smith Police Chief Danny Baker said, at a press conference.
When the officer arrived, the shirtless man was hitting his 15-year-old son with a stone in the head and face and, and the officer ordered him to stop, Baker said.
At first the man seemed to obey, but when the officer approached the man to restrain him, the man pulled out “a bladed weapon slitting his throat and neck” a little less. ‘a minute after the officer’s arrival, Baker said.
The officer fired two shots, killing the man, according to Baker. The 15-year-old was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital. He suffered multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma, the chief said.
A 5-year-old was also found in the house and is now in the care of his family, Baker said.
“I have no doubt that the swift action of our officers saved the life of this young child,” said Baker.
The injured officer was rushed to hospital with a severe laceration to his throat and neck, the chief said. He is now in stable condition after emergency surgery.
Baker said he asked Arkansas State Police to lead the investigation because the incident involved an officer firing his gun at someone.
The injured officer has been placed on administrative leave with pay for a minimum of three days and will remain on leave as long as necessary. A second officer was also put on leave, Baker said.
“We are all scared, angry, frustrated, sometimes desperate. No one believes in the sanctity of life more than the men and women of the Fort Smith Police Department. Each of us has sworn to protect her at all costs. So it hurts us as much as it does any of you when a result like this is inevitable, ”said Baker.
“I am grateful to the officers who are willing to risk their lives when evil threatens our community. I am grateful to the medical team, who took care of our officer. And I’m grateful to our community, which always pulls together when tragedy strikes. My heart goes out to all who were touched by this terrible event. Please pray for all of us. “