Police officer dies after Arkansas shooting

Police officer dies after Arkansas shooting

Update 9.50pm: An Arkansas police officer has died after being shot while responding to a call at a house.

Sebastian County Deputy Bill Cooper was pronounced dead in hospital after the incident near the town of Hackett.

Earlier: A man suspected of shooting and injuring two Arkansas law enforcement officers has been arrested after barricading himself in a house.

The man was taken into custody several hours after the shooting was reported at around 7.20am local time in a rural, wooded area near Hackett, a town of about 800 residents, according to Sebastian County officials.

Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said a Hackett police officer suffered "superficial" wounds during the shooting. The second officer, a sheriff's deputy, is believed to be in a serious condition after being shot.

The officers were shot while responding to an unspecified call for service on Wednesday morning.

Dozens of police vehicles, including a SWAT truck, quickly descended on the area and surrounded a house where the suspect had barricaded himself inside.

It is believed the man's father had called police earlier in the day asking officers to check in on his son.

James Markward, who lives nearby, said he heard commotion early on Wednesday morning in the area, which is about 115 miles west of Little Rock.

"It woke me up this morning, the gunshots. Of course I didn't know what was going on," the 72-year-old said. "My neighbour called me and asked if I was shooting, and I said 'No, not me.'"

Mr Markward said the shooting suspect once helped him split wood, but said he had not seen the man in a few years.

"As far as I know, he was all right," he said.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he did not have details about the shooting but he added the incident underscores the danger the state's law enforcement officers face.

"It's a risky business and it really illustrates the importance of our support for law enforcement," he said.

US Representative Bruce Westerman, whose district includes part of Sebastian County, echoed the governor's support for police state-wide.

"This has to stop," he said. "It's a shame the price that law enforcement officers are paying right now and, again, I don't know any details about what's happening here, but my heart and prayer is with them and their families."

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