The Arkansas State Police is investigating a Dallas County Sheriff’s Department officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of a Hot Springs County man.
Police say that 43-year-old Joel R. Weldon of Hot Springs County died after a result of exchanging gunfire with Dallas County sheriff’s deputies on Sunday evening a little after 9:00 p.m.
According to police, two sheriff’s deputies on patrol in Sparkman at around 8:50 p.m. initiated a traffic stop involving a truck driven by Weldon. During the course of the traffic stop, Weldon fled from deputies, police say, and drove north from Sparkman on County Road 232.
During the pursuit, according to police, Weldon reportedly stopped his vehicle and began firing a gun at the deputies, which led to an exchange of gunfire with one of the deputies.
The pursuit resumed, police say, with Weldon driving toward County Road 235, where he later stopped and was ordered to show his hands. Police say that Weldon did not comply with the order, and one of the deputies fired into the truck. Weldon then stepped away from the truck, still armed, started to walk away, and then collapsed.
Deputies began to render aid to Weldon, police say, while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. Weldon was later pronounced dead at the scene. Weldon’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where the manner and cause of death will be determined.
Police say neither sheriff’s deputy was injured during the incident. The state police did not have information available on the administrative status or identify of the sheriff’s deputies.
Special agents of the state police’s criminal investigation division are continuing their investigation and will submit an investigative file to the Dallas County prosecuting attorney, who will then determine whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with state laws.