Prosecuting attorney clears off-duty officer involved in shooting at Texarkana restaurant

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black wrote a letter to the Texarkana Ark. police chief and Arkansas State Police, clearing the off-duty police officer involved in the shooting of a man at a downtown Texarkana restaurant last week.

The letter stated the actions of the detective were completely justifiable on several different grounds of the criminal code. The ruling was made after viewing surveillance video of the incident and interviewing witnesses.

Investigators say this started when Jayden Sledge was seen allegedly burglarizing a vehicle near the restaurant, Zapata’s.

Deputy Prosecutor Attorney Connie Mitchell said two off-duty officers were notified and chased Sledge into the restaurant. She says once inside, he pulled out a gun and pointed it in the direction of one of the officers. The off-duty officers did not have their service weapon, and borrowed a weapon from a patron inside the restaurant.

“The suspect was climbing a ladder and when the detective entered the room, then he pointed his weapon at the off-duty officer. At that time, the off-duty officer fired his weapon, striking Mr. Sledge once in the arm,” Mitchell said.

Sledge was treated for his injury and later booked into to the Miller County Jail on multiple charges, including two charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

“I have no doubt had this officer acted the wat he did, there would have been a number of casualties in the restaurant at the hands of the suspect,” said Mitchell.

A spokesman for the police department said they commend the officer for his display of bravery and dedication to the service of the citizens of Texarkana.

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