FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Eight Fort Smith police officers returned to work Friday (Jan. 19) after being cleared of any wrongdoing in an officer-involved shooting on Jan. 3, according to Cpl. Anthony Rice.
According to prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue, the shooting of Matthew Pittman, 19, by Fort Smith police officers was justified under Arkansas law.
The officers returning to work includes the three officers who fired their weapons: Jeff Lumm, a field training officer, Thomas Brashier, an officer in training, and an unnamed registered undercover officer.
Five other officers who were witnesses to the shooting also returned to work: Sgt. Wayne Barnett, Steven Creek, Chelsey Garrett, Dylan Harris, and an unnamed registered undercover officer.
The shooting happened at a convenience store at 1116 Grand Avenue.
Rice said police were told a man they were trying to take into custody for a felony warrant would be at the convenience store. Pittman was wanted for aggravated assault involving a firearm for a shooting about a week ago, according to police.
"He was a wanted person for a felony charge relating to a firearm. The charge relates to an instance of him discharging the weapon. I was believed that he had that weapon to begin with and was driving around the city with that weapon. We had to serve that warrant and enact that warrant in order to take that individual off the street," said Lt. Wes Milam with the Fort Smith Police Department. "The situation that they were presented with was apprehending somebody that not only had a felony warrant but was (thought) to be armed. The officers involved did a very good job. They were forced into an action that was unfortunate but thankfully it was able to be contained."
Once officers arrived, Pittman started ramming his car into patrol vehicles and other cars, Rice said.
Rice said Pittman tried to run over an officer and officers then fired shots at Pittman, hitting him several times. Officers fired several shots at Pittman because of the danger of the situation, Rice said.
Police told 5NEWS that Pittman did have a revolver in his waistband.
Pittman is facing three charges of aggravated assault.