FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A police officer was ”ambushed and executed” by a gunman as he sat in his patrol vehicle parked outside his police station in northwestern Arkansas, police said Sunday.
Fayetteville police said in a news release that Officer Stephen Carr was shot and killed late Saturday by a suspect identified as 35-year-old London Phillips, of Fayetteville.
Gun shots were heard behind the police department at about 9:42 p.m. Saturday, police said. When officers responded, they heard additional gunshots, then found an armed suspect behind the police department. The suspect had a confrontation with the two officers, who shot and killed him. Officers then found Carr shot inside his patrol vehicle.
“Ëvidence shows that Officer Carr was ambushed and executed while sitting his patrol vehicle,” police said in the news release.
Carr was hired by the Fayetteville Police Department in April 2017 and was assigned as a patrol officer in the Dickson Street entertainment district.
“He served our community with dedication and professionalism for the past 2 1/2 years, he is a HERO,” police said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Carr’s family during this tragic time.”
The police department has asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI to investigate.
Police did not immediately release the names of the two officers who shot Phillips. Under city and police department policy, both officers have been placed on administrative leave until Chief Mike Reynolds can review the results of the investigation.
Reynolds said during a news conference that officers chased the suspect into an alley between the police department and city prosecutor’s office. The officers then shot and killed the suspect.
Reynolds said the officer had been waiting for his partner in the parking lot when the shooting happened. He said he didn’t know the shooter’s motivation.
“It appears the suspect came into the back parking lot and just executed my officer,” Reynolds said.
Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene, but the officer and suspected shooter died of their injuries.
The gunfire sparked a scare at the nearby city square, where a crowd was taking in the Lights of the Ozarks installation, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Police say there’s no threat to the public.
The fatal Arkansas shooting followed the shooting death of a Houston police officer Saturday night.