One person dead, Conway officer injured in shooting early Sunday morning

Crime
January 01 2022 12:00 am

CONWAY, Ark. — A man is dead and a Conway police officer injured after an exchange of gunfire during a traffic stop, according to officials.

The deceased man has been identified as 35-year-old Nicholas Smith of Conway.

The names of the officers have not been released.

Conway police say the injured officer is hospitalized and is stable.

He was shot in the leg.

It started with a domestic disturbance call just before midnight in a residential area off College Street.

Police responded to the report, where a person was said to have a weapon.

When police arrived, the man had left the scene.

Shortly before 1:00 a.m. officers spotted a vehicle believed to be occupied by the person near the location of the original call and attempted a traffic stop.

While the officers worked to detain the person, a struggle took place.

Police say the man, later identified as Smith, pulled a gun and shot at the officers, injuring one.

They returned fire and hit Smith, who died at the scene.

Ryan Hamilton lives in the neighborhood where 35-year-old Smith was pulled over.

He says he didn’t think much of it when he saw police lights through his window.

“I figured it was routine for like speeding, so I went back to sleep and figured they’d go away,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton says he knew it was something more after he heard several gunshots.

“I looked out my window and it was just a lot of screaming and yelling,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton says police were in the area until about 5 Sunday morning and crime scene tape wasn’t taken down until late afternoon.

Arkansas State Police are conducting an investigation of the shooting.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division have been assigned to the case.

The body and other evidence have been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for further examination.

The officers who were involved are on administrative leave while the investigation into the shooting proceeds.

An investigative case file will be prepared by the agents and submitted to the Faulkner County prosecutor to determine whether the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas laws.

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