Shortly before 7pm Tuesday evening, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputies and Walnut Ridge Police officers were informed of a subject enroute from Greene County to Lawrence County armed with a shotgun, claiming to do harm to himself and possibly others.
Lawrence County Deputies and Walnut Ridge PD officers intercepted the vehicle on 412 headed into the Walnut Ridge area. The vehicle reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph exited onto Hwy 67, officers deployed “spike Strips” in an effort to disable the vehicle. The strips were effective, blowing out the left front tire of the vehicle.
Lawrence County Dispatch notified the Hoxie PD and the Arkansas State Police of the chase which was down to 25mph. Deputies backed off of the vehicle due to pieces of rubber being thrown from the blown tire.
Just before 6:30pm the armed suspect and his vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Hwy 63 & 67. At this point negotiations with the subject via cell phone were being conducted by Sheriff Jody Dotson and Walnut Ridge Police Chief Richy Thatcher.
Deputies from Lawrence County, Hoxie and Walnut Ridge PD officers closed Hwy 63 to traffic with the potential for gun fire. The stand off lasted until 7:40pm when the subject re-started his vehicle. Sheriff Dotson and Chief Thatcher were still trying to talk the subject into giving himself up.
Shortly before 8pm the subject threw the weapon out of the vehicle window, officers approached the vehicle with caution, soon they learned the subject had taken what was described at 100 pain pills and muscle relaxers in an attempt to commit suicide.
AET Ambulance of Walnut Ridge was on standby at the scene when officers called for a transport to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The subject was taken to Lawrence Memorial and then taken to another facility via Air-Evac.
Lawrence County Officials have not released the name of the subject, the incident is still under investigation. Hwy 63 was re-opened at 8:27pm.
For more information on the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, visit their site at www.lawrencecountysheriffsoffice.com