FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The Sebastian County prosecutor’s office has ruled that Hackett police and the sheriff’s office were justified in using lethal force during a shootout in May.
Dept. Jason Morse fatally shot Peter Boden, 48, on May 7 when Boden fired at officers responding to a domestic disturbance in the county between Hackett and Greenwood.
Prosecutor Daniel Shue cited state law that allows officers to use deadly force to stop a person who is armed or dangerous, or when an officer feels threatened by deadly force.
“Considering the totality of the circumstances, (officers) had reasonable belief that Boden was attempting … to use deadly force on themselves, other officers and possibly civilians in the area,” Shue said Wednesday (July 25).
Neither Morse or Hackett reserve officer Todd Johnson, who also fired at Boden, will face criminal charges, Shue said.
The incident began at about 10:40 p.m., when an off-duty Hackett police officer heard a disturbance in his neighborhood off West Arkansas 10 and went to check with the family.
Boden left the home on Sunny Hill Place with a shotgun and fired at the officer, who returned fire. The officer left and called 911.
When officers arrived on scene, shots were ringing out.
“We had our SWAT team that surround the suspect’s location, set up a perimeter,” said Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck, who added that four people were evacuated from the home.
“He fired several rounds at our SWAT officers. At one point, while he was attempting to load a vehicle up with more firearms, he also attempted to get away.”
Morse tried to disable Boden’s vehicle by shooting the radiator. Boden returned fire toward Morse and another officer, and Morse fired again, killing Boden.
Investigators later found two pistols and ammunition on Boden and around his body.
Three officers were injured in the shooting, but all were released from a hospital the next morning after being treated for non life-threatening injuries.
The Lavaca, Greenwood and Barling police departments, along with Arkansas State Police, assisted Hackett police and the sheriff’s office during the incident.