The Arkansas State Police is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred Friday evening in northeast Pine Bluff.
According to police, 40-year-old Matthew Abrams was shot by an Arkansas Department of Corrections officer at the conclusion of a chase by a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy. Life-saving measures were performed by law enforcement on scene, but Abrams died.
At the request of multiple law enforcement agencies involved and the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has commenced an investigation into the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.
At approximately 6:45 p.m., a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy saw an individual outside of a Commerce Road hotel he thought was a suspect in connection with recent criminal activity, police say. The individual was later identified as Abrams.
Abrams and another individual, police say, entered a vehicle and drove away with the deputy following. Abrams refused to stop for the deputy and drove onto the U.S.-65 expressway, turned off Michigan Street, and then onto the Union Pacific railway tracks. The passenger fled on foot a short distance later, but was apprehended by law enforcement.
According to police, Abrams got out of the car and pointed a gun at the deputy, who fired his weapon. Police believe the deputy hit Abrams, who then fled on foot into a nearby wooded area, police say.
Multiple law enforcement agencies created a perimeter to seal off the area while a canine search team from the Arkansas Department of Corrections arrived.
As corrections officers entered the area, according to police, Abrams was lying in area of dense brush. Police say Abrams raised-up and pointed his gun at officers, who were ordering him to drop the weapon. Police say Abrams refused orders, and was shot by corrections officers. Life-saving measures were taken, but Abrams died at the scene.
Abrams’ body and other evidence has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to be examined and a manner and cause of death determined. The prosecuting attorney will use the results from the evidence to determine whether the officers used deadly force consistent with Arkansas laws.