Police Shooting: Sexual Assault Suspect Killed

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A Washington County detective was involved in a deadly shooting at a residence just outside Farmington Monday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office.

The shooting happened at 12571 Leam Blvd around 1:15 p.m. Detectives were there conducting a follow-up investigation of reported sexual assault of a minor, according to Kelly Cantrell with the sheriff’s office.

Detective L. Scott McAfee told Joshua Adam Thomas, 38, to come outside, but he claimed he needed to go back inside the house to get something, according to Cantrell.

The detective told Thomas to wait, but he went back inside the house, slamming the door behind him, according to a report from the sheriff’s office.

Shortly after, Thomas swung the door open, raised a crowbar and tried to hit the detective, Cantrell says.

Det. McAfee shot the man once. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene by Central EMS responders.

Arkansas State Police will also begin investigating the incident.  As part of standard procedure, Det. McAfee will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is also conducting an internal investigation.

Neighbors had mixed reactions about the man killed by police. One considered him aggressive and controlling.

"And I just know Josh from a distance you know he threatened to shoot my dog one time and to shoot me," said Sheila Carter.

Next door neighbors describe Thomas as a nice and caring person.

"He's always been kind of quiet, kept to himself and he offered us some vegetables that he grows in his garden, just a friendly man," said Lauren Shelley.

Neighbors say they believe Thomas had a criminal history.

"He had mentioned that he had been in trouble before. I don't remember if he said was on parole or probation," said James Shelley.

Det. McAfee was involved in another deadly officer-involved shooting on Feb. 19, 2004, according to Cantrell. He was exonerated by an internal investigation and by the prosecuting attorney.