Police in Arkansas shoot man who barricaded himself at a shopping mall

Police respond to an incident in the Lewis Crossing Shopping Center on Saturday, April 6, 2024 in Conway, Ark. Shots were fired, although it wasn’t immediately clear where the shots came from. Arkansas State Police were investigating the incident as an “officer-involved shooting,” KATV-TV reported. (KATV via AP)

CONWAY, Arkansas (AP) — Police in central Arkansas shot a man after he fired at officers from inside a business at a shopping mall Saturday morning.

Conway police said on Facebook that officers responded to a report about a man who had driven a vehicle into a massage therapy business at the Lewis Crossing Shopping Center. A SWAT team found an armed man who barricaded himself in a room. While Conway police officers were talking to the man, he shot at them and officers returned fire, striking him. No officers were injured.

Officer Shad Foley, a spokesperson for the Conway Police Department, said the man was taken to a local hospital. Foley did not know his condition.

Foley said he could not confirm why the man crashed his vehicle into the Massage Envy storefront, or whether police would file charges against him. “The investigation is still completely fresh and underway,” Foley said.

Photos and video from television stations showed the man’s white SUV completely inside the storefront. For a time, a police armored vehicle was parked outside.

Nearby businesses were cleared of customers and employees during the standoff. Bystander video showed the SWAT team with guns drawn forcibly entering a restaurant next to the massage business. Glass windows at the front of both businesses were shattered.

Some responders to the police department’s Facebook post said they were locked down in nearby stores.

Foley said the wing of the shopping center remains closed while Arkansas State Police investigate the shooting, as is standard in Arkansas when police shoot someone. Cindy Murphy, a spokesperson for the state police, said investigators would present their findings to local prosecutors, who would decide whether officers had violated any laws.

Conway is a city of 67,000 people about 33 miles (53 kilometers) north of Little Rock.