The Arkansas State Police has identified James Edward Blackmon, 35, of St. Louis, Mo., as the individual who was fatally wounded last night (Monday, July 30, 2018) in a gunfight with two Arkansas State Troopers and a Mississippi County Deputy.
At approximately 6:57 p.m. yesterday, an Arkansas State Trooper patrolling Interstate 55 in Mississippi County near the 56 mile marker encountered a vehicle that had earlier been identified as being pursued by Missouri law enforcement officers.
The driver was stopped by Arkansas State Troopers, at which point the driver exited the vehicle and fled toward farm property. Two state troopers and a Mississippi County Sherriff’s Deputy pursued the individual on foot.
At that time the trooper deployed his K-9. The K-9 caught up with the individual and made contact. The individual then fired a gun at the K-9, killing him.
After killing the K-9, the individual turned toward officers, engaging in a gunfight.
The individual was apprehended at 7:11pm and transported to an area hospital where he died this morning. The body will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the exact cause and manner of death.
One state trooper sustained minor injuries during the course of the chase, not related to the gunfire.
Two Arkansas State Troopers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the states deadly force investigation. The investigative file will be submitted to the Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney to determine if the shooting was consistent with Arkansas laws, specifically the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.