FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A police chief who was wounded in a shooting that left a Sebastian County deputy dead said he heard a bullet whiz by his head before one grazed his temple as he sat in his vehicle after arriving.
On Wednesday morning, Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells said he went to a staging area about a mile from a mobile home where a man was shooting at law enforcement and spent a few minutes directing traffic.
"Then the call came that Deputy (Bill) Cooper had been hit," Spells said. Cooper later died of his injuries.
Spells said he could go no closer to the house than 100 to 150 yards away, as bullets immediately began striking his patrol vehicle.
"I knew I had to get out of my vehicle, or he was going to keep firing," Darrell Spells told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2aJTDze ). "I pushed out the passenger-side door, and I dove into a ditch."
Inside the home, police say Billy Monroe Jones, 34, was firing a rifle at the officers who had initially responded to a domestic disturbance call after Jones allegedly threatened a family member with a gun.
Sebastian County Deputy Allan Marx, the SWAT commander, was getting a haircut when he was called and left immediately for the area.
"When we arrived, we heard there was an officer down," Marx said, and said he and another officer were able to pull Spells into a patrol car while other officers went for Cooper.
About 11:45 a.m., more than four hours after the initial call, police pulled an armored vehicle close to the house, Marx said, and Jones "held out a white cloth. He came out with his hands in the air."
Jones remains jailed while authorities continue to investigate the shooting. He has not yet been charged.
Spells said no one had ever shot at him before.
"I could hear the bullets whizzing," Spells said. "I'll probably never forget that sound."
Funeral services for Cooper are scheduled for Tuesday at the Fort Smith Convention Center.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com