Fayetteville Police Investigate Early Morning Officer-Involved Shooting, Suspect Arrested

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Officers are currently investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened Saturday morning (April 23).

Fayetteville Police Sgt. Craig Stout said it happened at 2:25 a.m. around Township Road and College Avenue.

Corporal Patrick Hanby and Officer Brandon Jones, with Fayetteville Police, stopped a maroon Chrysler for driving without headlights, according to Stout.

The driver, Willie Tillman, 33, was asked to step out of the vehicle.   Moments later, Tillman dove back inside the car and attempted to flee from police.

A struggle then began between the officers and Tillman, who was able to drive the vehicle while the officers were partially inside.

Stout said both officers attempted to deploy their tasers but were unsuccessful for unknown reasons at this time.

"Sometimes they're just not effective," Stout said. "Whether or not they're able to get good contact with the tasers. There are a lot of factors, Unfortunately, tasers are a great option, but they are not 100% effective."

Hanby was able to safely remove himself from the vehicle, but Jones was still inside the vehicle while Tillman continued driving.

Jones fired off multiple shots and struck Tillman in the chest, abdomen, and leg and was eventually able to get the vehicle to stop on Sunbridge Drive.

The suspect's injuries are not reported to be fatal. We're told the officers are also okay, according to Stout.

"We're very fortunate in the fact that none of the officers were injured when this took place, and that Mr. Tillman was not killed," Stout said. "The officers did everything to try to gain compliance with him verbally, then with hands-on, and then even tried to use a less-lethal method, but they just were not able to do so. The officer felt for his safety and had to make the option to attempt to use deadly force."

It was later discovered that Tillman had several warrants out for his arrest: including felony warrants with the Washington and Pope County Sheriffs offices for drug charges, and a felony warrant with the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections for a parole violation.

Fayetteville Police is currently doing the internal investigation, while Washington County is handling the criminal investigation.

Police tell us Hanby is a six year veteran of the department, and Jones has been with the department for two years.

Officer Jones has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

5NEWS is working to bring you more on this developing story.

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