STONE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT, KNWA) — Stone County Sheriff Deputy Mike Stephen, 56, was killed in an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning, July 18, according to Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler.
The former U.S. Army Veteran, and fire chief of the Pineville Fire Service, was a leader, “he [Stephen] would be the first in and last out,” said Stone County Chief Deputy Sheriff Zach Alexander. “…miss most will be his leadership.”
During the press conference, many details were not disclosed about the dispatch call that came in as a domestic-related situation from a home on Flag Road at 8:02 a.m. and responders arriving at 8:39 a.m. “Getting to rural areas is a challenge,” said Sadler in regards to the nearly 40 minute arrival time, “the call came in and the call was answered.” It was disclosed that other deputies were on the scene after Stephen arrived.
The deputy found a woman at the home, gunfire erupted and Stephen was killed at the scene. The suspect was killed and is yet to be identified pending next of kin. The person talking to Deputy Stephen was injured and taken to a hospital and is being questioned by state police investigators, according to the ASP PIO.
Sadler didn’t say how many guns or shots were fired because the investigation is ongoing, but he did say evaluating forensic evidence, “specifically from the firearms,” would quickly happen.
“Stone County residents will have answers,” said Sadler.
Two people are dead and one wounded in a deputy-involved shooting in Stone County.
One of the deceased is a Stone County Sheriff’s Deputy according to a release from Arkansas State Police.
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been requested to investigate the incident which occurred in southwest Stone County near the Searcy and Van Buren County line.
The county’s Office of Emergency Management reported the alleged shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the 2000-block of Flag Road near Flag Township.
In a tweet, the OEM stated: “possibly multiple people down.” They did not elaborate on who the possible victims were before ASP release information.
They stated the alleged shooter is “down.”
The scene has since been secured and Arkansas State Police are investigating.
KNWA News will continue to track this story and bring updates as they become available.