SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The fugitive that allegedly threw a knife at police before being fired upon has now been charged with attempted murder.
Michael Lee Fairburn, 61, a fugitive from Indiana that police described as a “violent sex offender,” was shot by police around 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Arkansas State Police announced today that Fairburn is being charged with attempted capital murder, attempted battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and weapons, as well as habitual offender violations.
Fairburn was found in Fort Smith and threatened to kill officers trying to execute an arrest warrant. He threw a knife at one of the officers, striking his right leg.
Officers then opened fire on Fairburn, who was holding a second knife. They then called emergency services and attempted life-saving measures, including applying tourniquets to his legs.
Fairburn was transported to Baptist Health and later to UAMS in Little Rock. ASP says that he has been released into Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office custody.
In a letter published last week, Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue said that the officers involved in the shooting were justified.
“In this situation where Fairburn was actively attempting to murder and batter the officers with a knife, I do not find Officer Jenkins’ and Officer Romesburg’s use of deadly force to be unreasonable at the moment they made the decision to fire,” Shue said.