Lawrence County man dead following armed disturbance and standoff with authorities

Photo by Stan Morris | NEA Report
Photo by Stan Morris | NEA Report

A Portia (Lawrence County) man is dead after he reportedly began firing a gun randomly outside his home Monday afternoon and was later confronted by law enforcement officers attempting to have the gunman surrender.

  Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies and Arkansas State Troopers responded to a call at 3:45 PM of a man firing a gun indiscriminately in the neighborhood around 208 South Free Street.

  A sheriff’s deputy and two state trooper observed William Chad Newman, 40, who resided at the address standing inside a shop building with a handgun and rifle.

 Law enforcement officers made repeated attempts requesting Newman to drop the guns and surrender.  Newman refused to comply and pointed one of the guns at the officers who then fired on Newman.

  The troopers and deputy rushed to the aid of Newman to provide life-saving medical aid.  Newman was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

  Special agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division were called to the residence and are conducting an investigation of the incident.

  Newman’s body is being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where an autopsy will be conducted and evidence recovered from the scene will be examined.

 The investigative case file will be presented to the Lawrence County prosecuting attorney who will determine whether the use of deadly force by the troopers and deputy was consistent with Arkansas law.

Identity of the state troopers involved in the shooting is being withheld until later this week. As prescribed by state police policy, both have been placed on paid administrative leave.

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