JOHNSON COUNTY, AR – A reserve deputy for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) who was killed in the line of duty early today was an 11-year veteran of the JCSO.
That’s according to a news release issued by the Arkansas State Police shortly before noon Friday.
The release says Sonny Smith, 42, of Clarksville, died as he and other sheriff’s deputies were searching for a burglary suspect 15 miles east of Clarksville.
The incident had begun around 1 a.m. when the sheriff’s department received a telephone report of a suspected burglar in the area of County Road 1723.
As deputies searched the area at around 2:30 a.m., Deputy Smith confronted an individual identified as Fred Kauffeld, 51, who allegedly shot Smith.
When Deputy Smith returned gunfire, Kauffeld sustained minor injuries before he was taken into custody.
Smith was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Kauffeld is being detained at the Pope County Detention Center while an investigation is continuing.
The investigation of the shooting incident is being handled by the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.
Update (11:15 a.m.):
JOHNSON COUNTY, AR – The reserve deputy killed early this morning in Johnson County has been identified as Auxiliary Deputy Sonny Smith, according to our content partner River Valley Leader (RVL).
RVL reports that authorities confirmed the deputy’s identity following the notification of next-of-kin.
Update (9:20 a.m.):
JOHNSON COUNTY, AR – New information is being released in a deadly officer-involved shooting early today.
Officials say the officer who died was a reserve deputy for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Their name has not yet been released.
The incident happened around 3 a.m. Friday after the reserve deputy and a full-time deputy were arresting a burglary suspect near Clarksville after the suspect had tried to get away by running into a wooded area.
The suspect’s weapon was reported to be .22 caliber.
Original story (8:05 a.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR – An officer has died in a shooting in Johnson County.
That’s according to Johnson County Coroner Pam Cogan.
Arkansas State Police tell us the agency is assisting with the investigation.
More details to come as soon as more information is released.