Manhunt underway for early morning shooting suspect in Baxter County

UPDATE THURSDAY 8 PM – Alton Bruce Cooke is dead after a stand-off with police. Read more here. 

BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. – The sheriff’s office in Baxter County is working a case from this morning involving a fugitive who is said to have run two victims off the road and then shot them.

The victims are said to have survived and are recovering as of the latest update. But the suspect is still wanted.

28-year old Alton Bruce Cooke is considered armed and dangerous.



  • 6 ft 3 inches
  • 210 pounds
  • Brown Hair
  • Hazel Eyes

The crime itself took place around 5 AM Wednesday morning on Highway 178 West in Midway, Arkansas. The sheriff’s release said the preliminary investigation showed the victim and her male passenger turned from Highway 5 North onto Highway 178. The suspect, driving a 2009 GMC, intentionally rammed her vehicle. A short distance later the suspect rammed her vehicle a second time causing her to wreck in a yard near the Midway Post Office.

The worst was still to come.

The suspect then fired multiple shots into the victim’s vehicle. He then fled the area.

Both victims were injured from the gunshot and were transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center where they were treated and released.

Indications are the female victim and suspect had a past relationship.

As of 9:15 AM, Baxter County Sheriff’s Office and the Dog Tracking Team from the North Central Arkansas Department of Corrections are currently searching for the suspect. The search is concentrated in an area near CR 502 in the Promise Land area, northwest Baxter County.

At 4:45 PM, the search for 28-year old Alton Bruce Cooke continued, the sheriff posted in an update. The manhunt Wednesday morning had centered in an area near CR 502 in the Promise Land Area. The vehicle, a black 2010 GMC Sierra truck, which was the vehicle the suspect had driven and used in the assault this morning, was found wrecked in the woods in that area. Tracking dogs from the Calico Rock Prison were being used in an attempt to locate the suspect. A piece of clothing believed to have been worn by the suspect was also found near a residence in that area.

Around noon today the search in the Promise Land area was scaled back. Several leads and numerous interviews have been conducted by investigators with a search warrant being executed on the suspect’s vehicle, Sheriff John Montgomery said in a release. The Arkansas Department of Community Corrections Absconder Team was contacted and they are now assisting in the search for Cooke.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for Alton Bruce Cook. The charges are:

  • Attempted First Degree Murder, 2-Counts Class Y Felony
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm Class B Felony
  • Unauthorized Use of Another Person’s Property to Commit a Crime Class B Felony
  • Battery in the 1st Degree Class B Felony
  • Aggravated Assault, 4-Counts Class D Felony

The judge signing the warrant of arrest set the bond at $500,000.

Alton Bruce Cooke is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who has information on Cooke’s whereabouts are asked to contact the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office at 870-425-7000 or call 911.

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