65-year-old deputy on verge of retirement killed in gun battle with suspect in Arkansas

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By Steve Visser

CNN

(CNN) — Sebastian County, Arkansas, sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cooper and his partner were responding to a 911 call about a fight between a son and his father over some tools when gunfire erupted outside the home about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said. Cooper was shot and killed.

Officials say Billy Monroe Jones barricaded himself in the home with body armor, explosives and an assault-style rifle and engaged responding law officer with gunfire until he surrendered.

Jones pinned down officers from multiple departments outside the house for hours and shot a police dog and a robot during the confrontation, Hollenbeck said.

Cooper, who was on the verge of retirement at age 65, died in surgery from a neck wound, Hollenbeck said.

Also shot was Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells; a bullet grazed his head. He was treated and released, Hollenbeck said.

Hollenbeck said the motivation for the shooting was unclear. Jones had a hearing scheduled for Wednesday at a court in nearby Fort Smith to have a previous suspended sentence reviewed and possibly revoked, Hollenbeck said.