Arkansas Sheriff’s Deputy Killed by Gunman During Standoff

Arkansas Sheriff’s Deputy Killed by Gunman During Standoff

Sebastian County
(Bill Cooper of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office was killed by an Arkansas gunman Wednesday. - Photo Courtesy of the Sebastian County Sheriff's office)

An Arkansas deputy was killed by a gunman who shot two officers before barricading himself inside his mobile home for an hours-long standoff, police said.

Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck confirmed that 15-year veteran Deputy Bill Cooper, 65, died Wednesday afternoon after being hit in the neck.

He said that Cooper and Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells were shot by 34-year-old Billy Jones when they arrived at his home around 7:15 a.m. for a 911 call from the suspect’s father that said his son had pulled a gun.

Chief Spells was grazed on the forehead and released from a local hospital, Hollenbeck said. A police dog was also shot and has not yet been found.

Jones locked himself inside his trailer and continued firing as more than 200 officers from different agencies arrived and surrounded the property near the Oklahoma border.

While the bullets prompted cops to retreat, the gunman didn’t injure any other officers.

After hours of negotiations, the suspect surrendered shortly before noon. Police swiftly took him into custody.

Aerial video from KHBS showed an explosion near Jones’s home early Wednesday afternoon, though it was not immediately clear what caused it.

Gov. Asa Hutchison released this statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the news that Sebastian County Sheriffs Deputy Bill Cooper has passed away after being shot in the line of duty this morning. Today’s shooting incident, which also resulted in injuries to Hackett Chief of Police Darrell Spells, tragically illustrates the dangers our law enforcement officers face each and every day to keep us safe.

On behalf of all Arkansans, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to Deputy Cooper’s loved ones and our entire law enforcement community. We stand with you during this difficult time.”