STONE COUNTY, Arkansas -- A Stone County Sheriff's deputy was fatally wounded in a shooting that left the suspected gunman dead and a woman injured Thursday morning.
Sgt. Mike Stephen was conducting a domestic welfare check at a residence in Leslie around 8:40 a.m. when the shooting occurred, according to KTHV.
Arkansas State Police spokesperson Bill Sadler said that gunfire erupted at the home near the area of the Stone County and Van Buren County line shortly after Stephen spoke to a woman outside the house. The 56-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting also left the suspected gunman dead, officials said.
The woman wounded in the incident sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Stephen was a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and also served as the chief of the Pineville Fire Department and was a U.S. Army veteran.
"Today, the State of Arkansas mourns the loss of a brave law-enforcement officer killed in the line of duty. Mike Stephen protected the people of Stone County, standing as part of the thin blue line separating our communities from crime and chaos,"" U.S. Senator Tom Cotton said in a statement. "I encourage all Arkansans to pray for and comfort his family, friends, and neighbors during this moment of loss.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.