BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. – A manhunt in north Arkansas is over with the death of the 28-year-old suspect who shot two people.
Authorities report he barricaded himself in a residence and then mortally shot himself in the head with a pistol after a stand-off.
Alton Bruce Cooke was found dead Thursday afternoon at a residence, 501 Kirkland Street, Gassville, Arkansas. Late Thursday morning, investigators learned Cooke was possibly at the residence. Surveillance began and at about 1:30 PM, investigators made contact with two people in the home. They said Cooke was there. He had run to a back room. They said he was armed with a handgun.
Law enforcement surrounded the house and evacuated the surrounding homes.
Over the next several hours, the sheriff said numerous attempts were made to contact Cooke and communicate with him.
Their patience ended at 5:30 PM. Tear gas was deployed and the Mountain Home Police Department Special Response Team made entry into the house. They found Cooke deceased in a self-made barricaded area of the house. Based on evidence at the scene, the sheriff said indications are that Cooke died from a self-inflicted gun shot to the head. A 9mm semi-automatic pistol was found in his hand.
The body will be sent the Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock to confirm the cause and manner of death.
Cooke was being chased by authorities after he shot a female victim and her male passenger in Midway Arkansas early Tuesday morning. He rammed the two off the road before firing into the vehicle. The woman had a past relationship with Cooke. Fortunately, both victims survived the ordeal.
The investigation is continuing with charges likely on person or persons who may have assisted Cooke, the release also added.
Arkansas Department of Community Corrections Absconder Unit
Mountain Home Police Department
US Marshall’s Office
Arkansas Department of Corrections Tracking Dog Unit
Flippin Police Department
Gassville Fire Department
Baxter County Coroner Office
Gassville Police Department
Baxter County Sheriff’s Office
The press release was signed by both Chief Tim Mayfield and Sheriff John Montgomery.