Arkansas: Early-morning Conway officers-involved shooting leaves suspect dead, officer wounded


CONWAY, Ark. (KTAL/KSHV) –  The Conway Ark. Police Department has requested the Arkansas State Police to investigate an early-Sunday-morning fatal shooting incident when a suspect opened fire on officers who were attempting to take him into custody. After one officer was wounded, officers returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.

The suspect, 35-year-old Nicholas Smith of Conway, died at the scene.  The wounded officer was transported to a nearby hospital where he was initially expected to recover.

According to the Conway Police Department, just before midnight, officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in a residential area off College Street, where the suspect was reported to be in possession of a deadly weapon.

When officers arrived at the scene, they were notified that Smith, the suspect, had left the scene. Officers initiated a search and located Smith a few blocks away. As officers were attempting to place Smith under arrest and a struggle ensued.

Smith then pulled out a weapon and shot at the officers, wounding one of them. The officers returned fire, fatally wounding Smith.

The wounded officer was taken to a nearby hospital, where he is currently listed as stable.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case.

Smith’s body and evidence collected by the agents will be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination and analysis.

Ryan Hamilton lives in the neighborhood where Smith was pulled over and told KTAL sister station KARK in Little Rock that he saw police lights through his window, but didn’t think much of it.

“I figured it was routine for like speeding, so I went back to sleep and figured they’d go away,” Hamilton said.

But, he added, after he heard several gunshots, he knew it was something more. “I looked out my window and it was just a lot of screaming and yelling.”

Hamilton said police were in the area until about 5 a.m. Sunday, and that crime scene tape wasn’t taken down until late Sunday afternoon.

An investigative case file to be prepared by the agents will be submitted to the Faulkner County prosecuting attorney who will use the file to assist in the determination whether the use of deadly force by the police officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.

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