A high-speed chase that started near Texarkana ended on the side of Interstate 30 early Saturday morning when a deputy shot an alleged knife-wielding suspect a quarter-mile west of the Nevada County line, authorities said.
A Nash, Texas, police officer noticed the driver, Chase Ray Alford, 36, of Henderson, Texas, was not using headlights as he headed north on Kings Highway toward I-30, said Nash Chief of Police Kelly Dial. When the officer attempted to stop the Dodge pickup, Alford accelerated, Dial said.
"At that point, the situation became an official pursuit."
As the pursuit progressed, other Texas officers joined the chase, but authorities with Hope, Arkansas, Police Department and Hempstead County took over the pursuit in Hempstead County, near Prescott, Arkansas.
Hempstead County Deputy Jim Bush found the Dodge pickup Alford was driving stopped on the shoulder of I-30 near the Nevada County line. Alford allegedly exited the vehicle "wielding a machete-type knife," officials said.
Bush ordered Alford to drop the machete numerous times, which he failed to do, said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton.
"Not only did he fail to comply with instructions, he somehow produced another knife-type blade in his other hand," Singleton said.
Deputy Manuel Rodriguez arrived on the scene and positioned himself to the passenger side of Bush's patrol vehicle. "Deputy Bush continued to order Alford to drop the knives. Alford refused to comply, then advanced upon Deputy Rodriguez," Singleton said.
Alford allegedly refused and was advancing on Rodriguez when Bush shot Alford in the chest.
"Alford immediately went down and ceased to be a threat," Singleton said.
Bush and Rodriguez administered aid to Alford along with Hope police officers until EMS could take over.
Alford was taken to a local hospital and, at presstime, was in ICU.
Deputies Bush and Rodriguez did not sustain any injuries.
Both deputies were put on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. The Arkansas State Police Company C Special Agents are investigating the incident and will turn their reports over to 8th North Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen.