Conway Police Department officials said Monday their officers responded appropriately when they shot a man multiple times as he charged an officer with a knife outside an apartment building Sunday.
Conway police spokeswoman La Tresha Woodruff said four officers involved in the altercation outside Plaza Pointe apartments on Market Plaza Drive in Conway are on leave and under administrative inquiry, "as pursuant to procedure in these matters."
The suspect is at a Little Rock hospital receiving medical treatment, according to police.
The department's use of force policy requires an internal investigation to be initiated any time an officer is associated with serious injury or death due to police force or police action.
According to the policy, Arkansas State Police may be requested by the police chief to assume responsibility for any criminal investigation, should one arise from a use of force incident.
Woodruff said Monday the department is interviewing involved officers Rachel Hanson, Andrew Burningham, James Burroughs and Steven Culliford, who were placed on leave Sunday.
Once the department has completed its internal review, the file will be given to the prosecuting attorney to determine if further action is needed, according to Woodruff.
Woodruff said witness and police testimonies indicate officers followed the department's Use of Force Continuum policy, which includes a chart with progressive levels of police force.
At Level 1, the continuum requires officers to make their presence known to a subject.
At Level 2, police are to give a subject verbal commands such as to drop his or her weapon.
Woodruff said in this case, the subject wielding a knife did not comply.
At Level 3, officers are to deploy non-lethal and less harmful controls such as spray and tasers.
Woodruff said the suspect was undeterred by the taser, and officers moved to "deadly force" at Level 5.
The policy states an officer will escalate levels of force as the offender escalates resistance.
Woodruff said the proximity of the suspect to the officer who deployed the taser put the officer in imminent danger when the suspect charged her with a knife.
Level 4 in the continuum calls for impact weapons such as police batons and less lethal munitions.
Conway officers who are involved in police force that results in death or serious injury are required to undergo psychological debriefing and counseling, according to the policy.