Off-duty Texarkana officer found justified in Zapata’s shooting

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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KSHV) — An off-duty police officer who shot a man at a downtown Texarkana restaurant last week has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black issued his findings Wednesday that the Texarkana, Arkansas police officer was justified in his actions when he shot 20-year-old Jayden Sledge, who was allegedly armed, making threats, and trying to break into a vehicle near the restaurant.

“It is abundantly clear to me that the actions of [the detective] were completely justifiable on several different grounds of criminal code,” Black said in the letter announcing the findings, which was released to the NBC 6 News on Friday.

According to TAPD, the detective was inside Zapata’s Cantina on October 13 when he witnessed an adult male, later identified as Sledge, committing a felony.

In the letter, Black says the detective should be commended for how quickly he took action and that he “unquestioningly prevented injuries or death to the many citizens and patrons that were present in the restaurant.”

Sledge is charged with aggravated assault and first-degree terroristic attacks. He is being held in the Miller County Jail on $250,000 bond.

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