Man shot while fleeing after break-in at state legislator's home | Arkansas Blog

Man shot while fleeing after break-in at state legislator's home

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REP. JOHN PAYTON
  • REP. JOHN PAYTON
KARK reports on a shooting last week of a man who'd apparently broken into the home of state Rep. John Payton of Wilburn.

By the Channel 4 account, the man had left the home and was fleeing when Payton's son fired a shot that struck the man in the shoulder. That brought him down and he was held for police.

The man was identified as a neighbor of Payton and they said they believed he was having a psychotic episode. From KARK:

The suspect's car was parked outside the home, still running with the headlights on. Payton found the back door open and it's where he yelled for whoever was inside to come out.

"The suspect barged out, kicked the door open, kicked the yard gate open," he says. "Yes I did fire a warning shot."

However, the man didn't stop. He hopped fences leaving damage behind. Eventually Payton says his son opened fire, hitting the burglar in the shoulder. That's when they held him down and waited for police.

"He was saying the holograms were trying to get him," says Payton.

KARK didn't speak to the prosecutor about the circumstances of this episode. From a legal website describing the Arkansas self-defense law:

A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is: a) committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence; b) using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force; or c) imminently endangering the person's life or imminently about to victimize the person from the continuation of a pattern of domestic abuse. A person may not use deadly physical force in self-defense if he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force with complete safety by retreating. However, a person is not required to retreat if the person is: a) in the person's dwelling or on the curtilage surrounding the person's dwelling and was not the original aggressor; or a law enforcement officer or a person assisting at the direction of a law enforcement officer. Ark. Code Ann. 5-2-607.

Wilburn said they'd found the man had broken into a gun cabinet. The article isn't clear, but it would appear this discovery came after the shooting. From KARK:

"In a situation like this, you realize how quickly you may have to react to protect your family, so in that regard, the right to bear arms is critical," he says.

The man who was shot will be charged with burglary, the sheriff's office said.


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