Springdale police searched the van of a man involved in a standoff with officers at the Walmart Neighborhood Market parking lot and found assorted homemade weapons.
Rainbow Kilo Rasphoumy, 40, of Huntsville, is charged with aggravated assault, assault first degree and resisting arrest. Police say he pointed a toy gun at officers Wednesday (June 12).
A search warrant was obtained for Rasphoumy’s van and authorities found a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun on the passenger side of the van. They also found a double-headed axe, several knives, handcuffs and nunchucks. A wooden stick, similar to a broom handle, with large knives on each end was also in the van, according to police.
At 7:47 a.m. Wednesday, police say Rasphoumy’s niece called and stated he had been sitting outside her home for almost an hour. She claimed the man had mental problems and often bothers her.
Police say she provided a description of his van, which officers later tried to stop at Robinson Ave and Butterfield Coach Road. Police say he pulled into the store’s parking lot at 3553 E. Robinson Ave.
Rasphoumy initially got out of the van at the officer’s request, according to a police report. But soon became uncooperative and got back in the vehicle.
Police say he grabbed an object that looked similar to a flute and raised it above his hands as if he was going to hit the officers. The police report states Rasphoumy attempted to kick at the officers. They attempted to use a Taser on him, but it didn’t stop him.
Rasphoumy pulled what appeared to be a handgun on them, police said. Officers attempted to take cover, but while moving one of the officers fired at least seven shots at the van, the report states.
Rasphoumy was not hit. He then barricaded himself in a van on the parking lot, eyewitnesses said. No one else was in the van with the gunman, police said.
Rasphoumy was taken into custody about 9 a.m. after talking with police negotiators, authorities said.
Investigators told 5NEWS they recovered a black plastic toy gun that resembled a snub nose revolver, three chickens, two ducks and three parakeets from the van. The birds were all alive, officials said.
The investigation into Rasphoumy is ongoing. Police say there will also be an investigation into the officer who fired the shots, which will be turned over to the county prosecutor for review.
The officer is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market manager moved all customers and associates to the back of the building. No injuries were reported.
“I was doing some shopping and then I went to the ’20 Items or Less’ lane, towards the front of the store, and a lady came in and said ‘This important, the police said no one is supposed to go outside, there’s a man with a gun in a van,’” said Spring Craddock who was shopping at the time of the incident.
Craddock, customers and associates were held in the store’s meat department for a little more than an hour. Despite the scary situation, Craddock said she thinks it was handled well.
“As soon as they knew something was wrong, I mean, they told the customers first and then they immediately came inside and had us go back for our safety, straight to the back, not just stay in the store,” she said. “But when they figured it might be worse, because there are windows there in the front of the store so anything could have come through.”
Customers were later escorted out of the store. The store has since reopened and the scene has been cleared.