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US police officer dies after Arkansas shooting

Published 10/08/2016

The incident occurred near Hackett, Arkansas
The incident occurred near Hackett, Arkansas

An Arkansas police officer has died after being shot while responding to a call at a house.

Sebastian County Deputy Bill Cooper was pronounced dead in hospital after the incident near the town of Hackett.

Local police chief Darrell Spells was also shot in the incident, suffering superficial wounds.

After the shooting, the suspect barricaded himself inside the house for more than four and a half hours before being arrested.

Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said: "We have limited information as to why this has happened."

He added that investigators are "looking into" the possibility that this was a planned attack.

Authorities said the injured officers went to the home, about six miles from the Oklahoma border, after the suspect's father asked them to check on his son.

After the shootings, dozens of police vehicles, including a Swat truck, quickly descended on the area. The shootings occurred in a rural, wooded area near Hackett, a town of about 800 residents.

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said he did not have details about the shooting but said it underscored the danger that the state's law enforcement officers face.

"It's a risky business and it really illustrates the importance of our support for law enforcement," Mr Hutchinson told reporters at an event in North Little Rock.

Representative Bruce Westerman, whose district includes part of Sebastian County, echoed the governor's support for police state-wide.

"This has to stop," Mr Westerman said.

"It's a shame the price that law enforcement officers are paying right now and, again, I don't know any details about what's happening here, but my heart and prayer is with them and their families."


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