Fayetteville Police officer Blake Williamson is recovering after being shot in the leg Saturday night in a gunfight at the Bedford Loop Apartments near the University of Arkansas campus.
Williamson, 32, underwent surgery to have the bullet removed from his ankle Sunday morning, according to Facebook posts from his family. He has been released from the hospital and is expected to recover.
“Officer Blake Williamson is the officer who was injured, he sustained a wound to his leg just above the ankle. He underwent surgery to have the bullet removed from his leg. The surgery was early in the morning and he recovered all day at the hospital and he was released this morning,” said Sergeant Craig Stout.
Williamson’s wife tells 5NEWS that after he was shot, he called her to let her know he was injured but doing okay. She also says he refused to go to sleep until the standoff ended because he was worried about his fellow officers.
Williamson was an officer with the Russellville Police Department from 2001 to 2009.
“He was an exemplary officer, and we wish him the best in his recovery,” Russellville Police Chief Tom McMillen said.
A suspect has been arrested and booked in connection with the shooting.
Sergio Andrade-Martinez, 51, is being held in the Washington County Jail in connection with 10 felony counts, including six counts of attempted capital murder on police officers; two counts of aggravated assault for placing neighbors in danger by firing a round through their apartment wall; one count of first-degree battery on a law enforcement officer; and one count of a terroristic act for firing a gun at an occupiable structure, according to a preliminary report from Prosecuting Attorney John Threet.
A hearing is set for 7:45 a.m. Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court.
The suspect’s mother told officers she spoke with her son by phone shortly after he fired at police, and he told her he had been shot in the face, authorities said. Officers also might have shot the suspect with a Taser while arresting him, said Fayetteville Police spokesman Sgt. Craig Stout.
The incident ended shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday after a standoff lasting about six hours when Andrade-Martinez was arrested.
“He eventually came out of his apartment. He wasn’t, at that point, coming out to surrender himself but he did come out far enough that our officers were able to utilize a Taser, a non-lethal device, and take him into custody,” said Sergeant Stout.
The incident began with a routine attempted traffic stop Saturday night, Stout said.
At about 9:30 p.m., University of Arkansas police tried to stop the suspect’s vehicle, Stout said.
However, Andrade-Martinez failed to yield to emergency lights and sirens, authorities said. Six campus and Fayetteville police cars chased the suspect to the Bedford Loop Apartments at Stone Street and Sang Avenue.
Andrade-Martinez got out on the driver’s side and ran into apartment No. 6 at 1809 Bedford Loop, Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor said in a news release.
A short time later, he came out of the apartment wearing a hat and carrying a black semi-automatic handgun, authorities said.
Officers ordered him to drop the weapon, but Andrade-Martinez fired several shots, Tabor said. One round struck a Fayetteville officer, authorities said. Another round went across the complex and through two walls of an apartment, missing two occupants by feet and striking a back wall, the prosecuting attorney’s report states.
Officers returned fire, and Andrade-Martinez went back into the apartment, Tabor said.
Early Sunday, shortly after midnight, police on loudspeakers told him they knew he was injured and to come out with his hands up.
Shortly after 1 a.m police blew out a window to the second-floor apartment. Officers then fired 10 rounds of tear gas and pepper spray into the apartment in two separate bursts, one of seven rounds and another a short time later of three rounds.
Two hours later, Andrade-Martinez still had not come out. Firefighters earlier had shut off water to the apartment.
The suspect told police on a cellphone during the standoff that the gas did not bother him, Stout said. The Fayetteville police chief and mayor were at the scene into the early hours on Sunday. SWAT teams also were at the site.
An ambulance pulled up to the apartment shortly before 4 a.m. to take the suspect to the hospital. Police at that time said the standoff was over.
The gunman was checked for injuries, but was not hurt during the standoff.