by Max Brantley
The Arkansas State Police is investigating the use of deadly force by three Washington County sheriff’s deputies yesterday (Friday, June 24, 2016). Special agents of the State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case at the request of Tim Helder, Washington County Sheriff.
Farmington police and fire department personnel responded to 133 Neal Street late Friday afternoon where Randy Blecher, 50, had been seen setting fire to the house and an out-building.
Local police reported that on their arrival at the residence, Blecher was seen on the front porch holding a handgun and shotgun.
As officers from other area law enforcement agencies arrived, attempts were made to negotiate with Blecher, asking him to drop the guns.
Blecher moved from the porch and began to walk in the street where he pointed a gun in the direction of three Washington County sheriff’s deputies. The deputies fired their weapons striking Blecher.
Blecher was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The investigation being prepared by the State Police special agents will be submitted to the Washington County prosecuting attorney for review to determine whether the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.