Arkansas police investigating shooting following high school graduation

A shooter was wounded by an officer and later arrested, police say

Police in Hot Springs, Arkansas, are investigating a shooting that occurred after a large fight broke out following a graduation ceremony. One person died and three others were injured when a single gunman fired shots during the incident, police said.

The three injured were transported to local hospitals to be treated and suffered non-life threatening injuries, police said.

“During the fight, HSPD officers and Garland County deputies were on scene attempting to defuse the situation when a single gunman began shooting into the crowd. Officers of the HSPD returned fire on the suspect, later identified as Charles Johnson,” HSPD Officer Omar Cervantes told ABC News in a statement.

Twenty-five-year-old Johnson was wounded, but able to flee the scene. He was later arrested while getting treatment for his wounds at a local hospital, Cervantes said. Johnson has been charged with one count of murder in the first degree and three counts of battery.

The fight happened in a parking lot across from a convention center where the ceremony was being held for Hot Springs World Class High School on Thursday night, according to officials.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the officer-involved shooting and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is complete, Cervantes said.

Hot Springs Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Nehus acknowledged the incident in a Facebook update on Friday saying school counselors and staff will be working with students who witnessed events.

“We are heartbroken that these violent events took place following such a beautiful celebration for our graduates and their families. Our Law Enforcement Officers and staff will continue to do all that we can to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies/officials to complete an investigation, Nehus said.

No current students or graduates were involved in the incident, Nehus said in an earlier post. “Our hearts and thoughts are with all individuals who suffered injuries tonight,” she said.

Hot Springs is about an hour west of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button