Arkansas State Troopers are on the scene of a shooting incident near Leslie in Searcy County. Two people have been wounded; one of them a sheriff’s deputy and both are being airlifted from the scene following what had been initially reported as a hostage situation.
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation will conduct an investigation of the incident.
John T. Kolata, 75, of Searcy County is hospitalized at a Little Rock hospital along with a Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy. Both were wounded during an exchange of gunfire inside the Serenity Farm Bread store located in Leslie earlier today
The store is located at U.S. Highway 65 approximately one quarter mile south of State Highway 66.
About 11:15 AM Searcy County sheriff’s department deputies and a State Trooper responded to the store following reports of an armed man holding two hostages inside the store.
Kolata reportedly began shooting as a deputy entered the store. The deputy and a State Trooper returned fire striking Kolata.
The wound to the deputy is not believed to be life threatening. Kolata was in surgery at UAMS late this afternoon. The State Trooper was not injured.
State Police Special Agents are leading the criminal investigation which will be submitted to the local prosecuting attorney for review.
Questions relating to the administrative status or identification of the Searcy County Deputy should be directed to the sheriff’s department.
The Arkansas State Police Office of Professional Standards is reviewing the shooting incident and in accordance with State Police policy the State Trooper is on paid administrative leave. The name of the State Trooper will be released following an initial assessment of the OPS review.