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A shooting incident involving police officers that occurred Sunday afternoon outside a Conway apartment complex has left four Conway Police Department officers on emergency leave and several witnesses with questions.
About 2 p.m. Sunday, Conway police were dispatched to Plaza Pointe Apartments at 2400 Market Plaza Drive after a caller reported a possible stabbing at the apartment complex.
A tenant and witness to the incident reported observing a male suspect standing in the breezeway of building 1, “holding a knife and waving it around.”
The woman said she heard the police command the suspect to put the knife down, but he didn’t, and instead charged an officer.
“Then they shot him. I don’t remember how many, but I think more than one of them fired several shots. I’d say six or more shots, at least,” the woman said.
Officials later said the incident stemmed from an altercation between roomates, during which time one of the men superficially stabbed the other.
When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered the suspect, reportedly a white, 30-year-old male, coming out of the apartment with a knife in hand.
The man was commanded several times to put the knife down and was tased when he refused.
CPD officials said the suspect still didn’t drop the knife, and instead, charged an officer.
An unknown number of officers fired shots, and according to patient information read my MEMS over the police scanner, the suspect sustained four gunshot wounds to his back and arms, as well as a “sucking chest wound.”
He was transported via air ambulance to Baptist Health in Little Rock.
Inside of the apartments,tenants were enjoying a typical Sunday afternoon. Stacey Dawn, a Conway resident, said her mother, whose name was withheld, was one of those tenants.
Dawn said she is “extremely upset” about the incident and doesn’t know why so many lives “were put in jeopardy.”
According to Dawn, two bullets from the officers’ guns entered a window at the front of her mother’s ground floor building.
At the time of the incident, she said, her mother was sitting in a chair, only a few feet from the window.
“A bullet missed my mother’s head by mere inches,” Dawn said.
The bullet then passed through a flower arrangement on her dining room table before lodging in the woman’s front door.
Dawn described later “picking shards of glass” from her mother’s hair.
Another four rounds entered a neighboring apartment, but those tenants were not at home at the time.
Dawn said she didn’t witness the event, but she had spoken with several others at the scene who had. Photos she snapped from behind the crime scene tape reveal a smattering of evidence markers in the grassamid the suspect’s clothes and shoes and medical equipment.
Dawn claimed at least 15 of those markers were bullet casings.
“Excessive, absolutely,” Dawn said. “Eight to 10 officers shooting at one man with a knife, towards a public building.”
Dawn said Sunday night her mother was OK, but “very shaken.”
LaTresha Woodruff, public information officer with the department, said the roommate and stabbing victim had not sustained substantial wounds.
There is no word from officials yet on the circumstances surrounding the altercation between roommates or what led a knife-wielding suspect to charge several armed officers.
The suspect’s name has not been released and his condition is currently unknown.
“I’m not trying to call out the actions of (the police officers),” Dawn said. “I just need some answers as to why it went down the way it did.”
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 501-505-1277. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)