LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A day after a suicidal man was killed in an officer-involved shooting with Little Rock police, the department discussed its practices when it comes to responding to emergency calls like they one they received Thursday.
That afternoon, about 2 p.m., police said a woman called 911 to say that her boyfriend was suicidal. A series of events took place that led to an officer, Eric Barnes, shooting and killing the man, 49-year-old John Williams.
"Mr. Williams had the gun in his hand. The officers started to retreat. He made some movements that made the officers feel threatened. They backed out and that's when officer fired their weapons," explained Sgt. Sidney Allen with Little Rock Police Dept.
Allensaid the department does have a Crisis Negotiation Team to be used in circumstances like these.
"Part of our Crisis Negotiation Team is attached to the SWAT team and what they do is, like you said, they will try to go in and talk to the person," Allen explained.
Allen went on to say that the crisis team was dispatched to the scene moments after the officers arrived on scene, but thatthe situation escalated before that team could get there.
"Is there any reason to believe the officer maybe should have waited for that team to come? No, there is no reason to believe that," Allen said.
The two officers involved, Eric Barnes and Clark Sheffield, per standard practice, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations.
If needed, the Arkansas Crisis Center, which specializes in helping suicidal people, can be reached by calling 1-888-CRISIS-2 (1-888-274-7472) or online at www.arcrisis.org.