The Arkansas State Police says that the Lonoke officer involved shooting from Saturday night at a McDonald’s restaurant off Interstate 40 is connected to a child abduction case in North Carolina.
The State Police says that the FBI and other out-of-state law enforcement agencies are helping to piece together the series of events that culminated in the shooting that wounded a Lonoke police officer.
According to the State Police, whose criminal investigation division is leading the investigation as it relates to the officer involved shooting, at around 8:00 p.m. Feb. 20 two Lonoke police officers recognized a Dodge sport utility vehicle parked at McDonald’s as a vehicle connected with a North Carolina child abduction case.
When the officers approached the suspect vehicle, they saw two people inside the Dodge SUV and ordered the driver, 38-year-old William Robert Ice of Jackson, Pennsylvania, to step out of the vehicle. According to police, Ice complied with the orders, but as he exited, he aimed a gun at one of the officers and began shooting, critically wounding the officer. The second officer returned gunfire as Ice re-entered the vehicle and fled, police say.
An Arkansas State Police trooper in the area heard the report of an officer down and spotted the suspect vehicle leaving the McDonald’s at 1834 Arkansas Highway 31. The trooper pursued the vehicle through Lonoke along Highway 31 and onto Raprich Road, where the Dodge SUV became disabled in a snowbank.
A 14-year-old female passenger fled the vehicle and was secured by the trooper. In the SUV, Ice was critically injured from what police are saying was a seeming self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sheriff’s deputies in Davidson County, North Carolina and special agents of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, special agents of Arkansas’ criminal investigation division were able to identify the 14-year-old as the victim in a child abduction case.
Police say that Ice died at a Little Rock area hospital on Feb. 21. Ice was also wanted by Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities in connection with other child predator cases. According to police, his body has been submitted to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the manner and cause of death.
The wounded Lonoke police officer is in stable condition and in a Little Rock area hospital.
Agents of the State Police’s criminal investigation division will continue to assist other law enforcement agencies in connection with cases that may involve Ice and the 14-year-old victim’s abduction. Police say the 14-year-old will be returned to North Carolina on Feb. 21.
The State Police is also preparing an investigative file that will be turned over to the Lonoke County prosecuting attorney’s office, where it will be decided whether the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer was consistent with state laws.