A suspect in the deaths of three people, including a sheriff's deputy, is in custody after a hostage standoff Thursday in rural Arkansas.
The deputy has been identified by Arkansas State Police as Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, 46, of the Yell County Sheriff's Office. The deputy had been heading to check on a call about a disturbance.
Mainhart was a five-year veteran of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Bill Gilkey said. He had been heading to check on a call about a disturbance.
The suspect, James Michael Bowden, 32, took shelter in the home, about 5 miles southwest of the small city of Dardanelle after the deputy was shot, police said. A civilian saw that the deputy had been shot and notified police.
Police then responded to the residence that was the site of the disturbance, where they found the bodies of two women outside, police said.
The causes of death for the other two other victims, both female, have not been released.
"What happened today once again highlights the dangers that are facing law enforcement officers across this country", Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler told reporters.
Sadler said investigators hadn't yet examined the bodies along Gum Springs Road, because of the suspect's proximity. "I want them to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers, and we stand with them", says Simpson. Negotiators are attempting to make contact with the individual during the hostage situation.
The fatal shooting of Mainhart was on the same day of the 36th annual memorial to honor fallen officers at the Arkansas state Capitol.
"State Police told me an officer died", Clyde Byrd said, standing about a half-mile away from the building on Gum Springs Road where multiple agencies appeared to be working a scene. "I heard they had him cornered in a building".
The area is considered risky and on lock down. Look for more updates as information is released.
No other information has been released at this time.
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