DARDANELLE, Ark. (AP) — A man suspected of gunning down an Arkansas sheriff’s deputy early Thursday and killing two other people surrendered after a five-hour standoff with police, authorities said.
James Michael Bowden, 32, gave himself up about 30 minutes after releasing a woman he had apparently been holding hostage inside the home where two females were found dead, State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said during a news conference. Investigators were questioning that woman.
Authorities said Bowden is suspected of killing Yell County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin C. Mainhart during a traffic stop. Mainhart was responding to a call about a disturbance at the home near Dardanelle, which is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.
Investigators haven’t released the names or ages of the female victims, or said how they were killed.
Mainhart had been an officer in Yell County for five years. He had previously worked for the West Memphis Police Department for more than twenty years, according to a State Police news release.
Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey said that Mainhart was a great father and husband, as well as being an excellent officer.
KATV broadcast an interview Thursday that it said was with the suspect’s father, James Bowden Sr. in which he says the incident stemmed from an argument his son had with his girlfriend.
Bowden’s father also told the TV station that the deputy had fired a Taser at the suspect, who allegedly thought he had been shot and then fired back, fatally wounding the officer. The suspect’s father said the woman, who was apparently being held hostage, is Bowden’s girlfriend.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge expressed their condolences to the deputy’s family and praised his 25 years in law enforcement.
The fatal shooting of Mainhart was on the same day of the 36th annual memorial to honor fallen officers at the Arkansas state Capitol.