YELL COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – A Yell County Sheriff’s deputy and two other people are dead after a shooting incident Thursday morning.
Around 7:00 a.m., the deputy initiated a traffic stop at the junction of State Highway 27 and Slo Fork Road. During the traffic stop, the deputy was shot and later died from his injuries. He was en route to a disturbance call on the 12000 block of Gum Springs Road near the location of the traffic stop.
Police were dispatched to the address at Gum Springs where they found two bodies outside the home.
The suspect has been identified and Arkansas State Police have him in custody. ASP used negotiators to try and make contact with him inside a home where he was reportedly holding two people hostage.
According to Bill Sadler with the ASP, it is believed that there may have been some information about a suspect vehicle involved in the disturbance call that officers were en route to on Gum Springs Road.
At this time, authorities believe that the traffic stop and the deaths on Gum Springs Road are connected.
The deputy was identified as 46-year-old Lieutenant Kevin C. Mainhart, a Yell County Sheriff's Department deputy. The two other victims have not been identified at this time out of respect for the families.
Sadler called the investigation a "tactical operation," and the safety of the officers and suspect is a priority.