LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson has ordered the state flag to fly at half-staff in honor of Stone County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stephen, who was killed in the line of duty Thursday, July 18.
“Stephen’s death is a somber reminder that our law-enforcement officers risk their lives every day to protect ours,” wrote Hutchinson, “I am grateful for the men and women who willingly put their safety on the line every time they put on the uniform. My heart goes out to his wife and son, and to his fellow officers and friends in their grief at the tragic loss of Mike Stephen.”
The governor’s order will be in place until the deputy’s funeral, according to the statement.
Statement from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge: “Today marks the end of Deputy Stephen’s watch and he will always be remembered for his steadfast commitment to safeguard his neighbors from harm,” says Attorney General Rutledge. “As the chief law enforcement officer of the state, I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Deputy Stephen’s family, friends and his brothers and sisters in blue throughout the state. The loss of our law enforcement in the line of duty is devastating for all Arkansans.”
Statement from U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas): “Today, the State of Arkansas mourns the loss of a brave law-enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. Mike Stephen protected the people of Stone County, standing as part of the thin blue line separating our communities from crime and chaos. I encourage all Arkansans to pray for and comfort his family, friends, and neighbors during this moment of loss.”