Sebastian County Deputy Cleared in Shooting

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Randall English

Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue has determined a deputy-involved shooting earlier this month near Greenwood was justified under state law.

Deputy Richard Rivera shot and wounded Randall English, 29, of Greenwood on May 9.

English was found holding his mother by the throat and a knife to her chest in a camper at 18207 Hwy. 71 South, near Greenwood when Deputy Rivera and Greenwood Officer RJ Whitworth responded.

“Considering the totality of the circumstances, Deputy Rivera had a reasonable belief that Randall English was committing the offense of Aggravated, and he further had a reasonable belief that English was attempting to use deadly physical force on himself, English’s mother, and possibly Officer Whitworth,” Shue wrote in a letter to Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck.

English is still being held on a $100,000 bond in the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center on several charges including aggravated assault, attempted arson, and arson. He’s expected to appear in Greenwood court on July 10.

During the investigation of the shooting, English told prosecutors that the ‘cops came and they did their job.’

He said that the deputy told him to put the knife down a couple of times and that ‘they knew I wasn’t going to put down that knife.’

English further stated that he has respect for people who do their job and he wished the officer had shot him in the head, according to court documents.

When officers responded to the 911 call around 4 a.m. that day, Deputy Rivera ordered English to drop the knife, but he would not comply, according to a report from the sheriff’s office Deputy Rivera fired one round from his department issued gun. The bullet struck English in the right shoulder.

English was taken to a local hospital and later booked into the county jail.

Per department policies, both the deputy and officer were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. They have both since returned to work.

Close family friend Colleen Lewis, says English’s mother, Liz Gudson, and her son have had problems for months.

“It’s a tough relationship, a tough relationship,” she said. “She has trouble with him. I have talked to her ‘til I’m blue in the face. I’m scared for her. I’m scared for my friend. I’ve seen things, and I’m just, I’m scared for her.”

Lewis said Hudson and her son had been living in the camper since a fire that burned down her home last year.

“She’s been through a lot,” Lewis said. “She is one of the toughest women I know. I mean, if not the toughest woman I know.”

According to a probable cause report, English also admitted to an arson that took place last year in addition to attempted arson Thursday morning and assaulting his mother.