Off-Duty Deputy Involved In Fort Smith Shooting Identified

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) - An off-duty sheriff's deputy who killed a man in Fort Smith on Saturday (Aug. 9) during a shootout has been identified, authorities say.

The deputy was identified as Joshua Heidelberg, according to a news release.

Justin Higgins, 23, was killed about 5:15 p.m. after being involved in a domestic dispute at 35 Aberdeen Circle, police said.

Investigators said Higgins kicked in the door of a home at Aberdeen Circle and then ran toward Jenny Lind Road and Interstate 540, where he was spotted by officers.

Police said Higgins carjacked a man at gunpoint, forcing him drive back to Aberdeen Circle, the site of the original dispute.  At that location, authorities said they were involved in a shootout with Higgins, who then fled to Bellhaven View Street.

Police said Higgins approached a home where an off-duty Sebastian County Sheriff's deputy happened to live and attempted a second carjacking.

Heidelberg engaged Higgins as he attempted to carjack Heidelberg's vehicle. Higgins was holding a gun to the head of a friend of Heidelberg, and he was about to drive away with that friend and Heidelberg's three children in the car, according to a news release.

Heidelberg shot and killed Higgins using his department-issued weapon, the release states.

He is on paid administrative leave pending an internal review, according to the release.

Two Fort Smith police officers involved in the shooting incident were also placed on administrative leave. They were identified as Officer Angus Bradford and Officer Lindsay Herring, according to a different news release.


  • bobreal

    To Bad They Could Not Of Just KISSED and Made Up…
    Now if the One That Got Shot Was Messing With A Minor Child
    Have To Say; “HE GOT WHAT HE DESERVES”..

    • What a town

      Apparently there was a police chase involved and an officer involved shoot out. This should get interesting.

  • knowyourfactsbeforeyourunyourmouth

    A robber on the loose tried to hijack a truck with kids in it and had someone at gunpoint. The man that shot him was just protecting his family!

      • What a town

        Chances are that I would be correct in my first assumption as that assumption would be much more likely to happen than an attempted carjacking of an off duty officer and the officer protecting himself. However, tonight the assumption was wrong. Now what? Mouthy punk. It looks like all you want to do is troll and run your fat mouth.

  • Dick Peters

    I sure will be glad when I can retire from my job. I will leave this cesspool of a town forever. not a fit place to live!

  • Guy Shea

    Sorry for the family of the deceased, but he had it coming, I see that all the bad talking people are spitting their venom, they’re real tough when they write anonymously, grow up!

  • bob

    That dude had bad luck the odds of carjacking a car and begin a off duty cop wow. And looks like even finna hills area isn’t as safe as people think. FS people always bad mouthing north side for killings looks like the crimes has moved to there side of town.

  • shea

    I wont believe this is what happened until i see proof untik then its just FSPD continuing their murder spree. They killed my sons father, then that woman a week later and now this. I dont and will not believe anything they have to say ever again without ROCK SOLID proof becauase they will only tell us what they want us to think!!!!Rip Justin….Rip Marcus

    • Ignorant People

      People are so ignorant, why bash a cop for saving his family. How ridiculous ate you ignorant people. Oh keys defend this lunatic that was running around shooting people and jacking cars. Get real. And fyi Shea, ALL officer involved shootings are reviewed by an outside agency to ensure no biased reviews are made.

      Get your facts right and stop having hate for officers for doing their job, keeping themselves and the public safe. I can only guess those individuals were threatening lives before they were shot.

    • My .02 worth

      Did you even read the article, it was an off duty Sebastian County Sheriff’s Deputy, not the FSPD

    • storm chaser

      get your facts straight, it was not fort smith police that killed him it was a Sebastian county detention deputy. And was off duty, protecting his friend and family. he was within his rights

  • Ignorant People

    And it’s rather simple, if you don’t like Fort Smith, LEAVE. Yes, you can do that believe or not. So sick of ignorant remarks that have a lack of knowledge of what happened. Quite annoying. Get a life abd GROW UP.

  • BevAnn

    My friend was the first one car jacked. This guy held a gun to his head and made him drive back to the residence. Dude had lost it, and unfortunately for him, his next carjacking victim was a cop. He made the decisions to do what he did, he has to suffer the consequences, as does his family. Thank God it didn’t turn out any worse!

  • Arnold Fudpucker

    Wonder if there is going to be looting and burning like there was is MO. Or is there another common denominator?

  • Enough?

    Maybe this will deter future crime in Fort Smith. Let it be known far and wide that law enforcement here won’t hesitate to shoot…and they WON’T miss!

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