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Arkansas man killed in gunfire exchange with deputies



A 43-year-old Hot Spring County man was killed after a car chase and shootout with sheriff’s deputies near Sparkman on Sunday, Arkansas State Police (ASP) reported in a news release Monday.

Two Dallas County sheriff’s deputies were on patrol in Sparkman before 9 p.m. Sunday when they reportedly tried to pull over Joel R. Weldon. During the traffic stop, Weldon reportedly fled and the deputies began chasing him north along County Road 232.

During the pursuit, Weldon, 43, stopped and began shooting at the deputies, according to the news release. One of the deputies began firing back.

The chase continued toward County Road 235 where Weldon stopped and was ordered by the deputies to show his hands. But Weldon did not comply and a deputy shot into the truck, hitting Weldon. The 43-year-old reportedly stepped down from the truck still armed, began walking away, and collapsed.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither sheriff’s deputy was injured during the incident, ASP said.

Weldon’s body has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where the manner and cause of death will be determined.

Special Agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing their investigation and will submit an investigative file to the Dallas County Prosecuting Attorney who will determine whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with Arkansas laws.

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