Standoff-turned-shooting highlighted staffing shortage, Fayetteville Police say


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fayetteville Police released the names of two officers involved in last Friday’s hours-long standoff that resulted in a shooting on Joyce Ave. The police department’s officers were nearly all utilized, causing another agency to step in and respond to in-city calls throughout the day.

Officers Jon Haydon and Chase Harris are both on administrative leave after shooting Skylar Houston, 29, near the entrance of Cleo’s Furniture on Joyce Ave. Police said they suspected Houston, who’d previously been arrested with more than eight pounds of meth, of conducting a drug deal in the nearby McDonald’s parking lot. Houston was in stable condition Monday.

A standoff/negotiation situation commenced Friday afternoon that lasted more than six hours. During that period, Sgt. Tony Murphy with the Fayetteville Police Dept. said many members of the public gathered across the street to watch the situation unfold, and a fight broke out in the area that officers had to respond to. Because so many officers were called to the Joyce Ave. standoff, Murphy said the Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office had to help answer calls within city limits throughout the day.

Murphy said police attribute this to the department having the fewest officers per citizen of any similar-sized city in Arkansas. He said a couple officers needed medical attention due to heat exhaustion.

“We did have two officers go down as heat casualties during this incident, where they had to receive medical treatment because of heat exhaustion,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he had to remind several people that “this wasn’t a game.” He said he hopes people respond differently if a similar situation happens again in the future for responding officers’ and their own safety.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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