TEXARKANA, Ark. — The fatal shooting of a suspect by police in June was justified under the law, according to a letter penned by the Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the 8th Judicial District South.
Don Allen Crowson, 37, died June 26 after being shot by a police officer in an apartment in the 1000 block of Hickory Street in Texarkana, Arkansas. Four Texarkana Arkansas Police Department officers responded to a disturbance call reporting that a man was threatening to kill someone at about 9:44 p.m. When officers entered the room on an upper floor of the residence, Crowson "arose from the chair in which he had been sitting, reached into a toolbox sitting on the floor next to his chair and removed a metal pair of 'channel lock' pliers, and immediately started toward (officers) saying, 'I'm going to kill you,'" states a letter to TAPD Chief Kristi Bennett and Adam Pinner of the Arkansas State Police from Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black.
Black's district serves Miller and Lafayette Counties. Bennett said she agrees with the findings and that the officers involved will return to full duty.
"A deadly force review board was convened in accordance with Texarkana, Arkansas, police policy and found that the officers involved acted within the guidelines of the agency's use of force policy and found that the officers involved acted within the guidelines," Bennet said.
"I have reviewed the reports and watched the videos contained within the investigative file compiled by the Arkansas State Police," Black's letter states.
The letter describes Crowson as repeatedly threatening to kill as he "rapidly advanced" toward officers, ignoring commands from them to "back up."
According to Black's letter, Crowson was within arms length of the officers when he was shot.
Black's letter includes a legal analysis of the situation with citations to Arkansas Criminal Code including the following excerpt: "A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is (1) committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence; or (2) using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force."
Black summarized his conclusion that the shooting was justified under Arkansas law.
"Mr. Crowson was clearly about to attempt to carry out his threats to kill an officer, his actions clearly constituting an attempted homicide, or at the least, an aggravated assault on the officer or officers," Black's letter states. "No criminal charges will be filed by this office in connection with the unfortunate death of Mr. Crowson."