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Cop Arrested After Killing Fellow Officer By Shooting Him Through Front Door

Alexander, AR – An Alexander police officer has been arrested for manslaughter in connection with the June 3 shooting death of fellow Alexander Police Officer Scott Hutton.

Alexander Police Department (APD) Officer Nicholas “Nick” Salyers turned himself in to Arkansas State Police (ASP) Criminal Investigation Division special agents on July 8, the ASP said in a press release.

A Saline County judge set the 33-year-old officer’s bond at $15,000.

Following the May 25 in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Officer Salyers, a three-year APD veteran, allegedly told fellow APD Sergeant Matt Wharton that he would shoot protesters through the door if they showed up at his home, KIRO reported.

According to the arrest affidavit, Sgt. Wharton warned Officer Salyers that doing so would be unjustifiably “reckless and negligent.”

“Wharton stated that they could not shoot anyone without identifying them first and identify(ing) that there was a threat,” ASP Special Agent Ryan Jacks wrote in the affidavit, according to KIRO.

On the night of June 3, 36-year-old Officer Hutton traveled to Officer Salyers’ home to pick up a patrol vehicle, according to the arrest affidavit.

Prior to his arrival, he attempted to reach Officer Salyers by cell phone and sent him a text asking him if he was awake, investigators said.

He received no response.

Officer Hutton pulled into the driveway of Officer Salyers’ Evergreen Drive home at approximately 7:12 p.m., then made his way onto the porch and knocked on his front door.

Officer Salyers was inside watching a movie with his girlfriend, Ashlee Cummings, when Officer Hutton arrived, according to court documents.

After hearing the knock, Officer Salyers grabbed his Glock .40 and went to the door to see who was there.

“According to his statement, he looked through the peep hole and saw a figure standing on his porch with a dark shirt and a gun on his hip,” the arrest affidavit read. “Salyers stated that he transferred his weapon from his right hand to his left hand and reached for the door knob and as he opened the door, the gun went off, firing a round through the front door.”

Officer Salyers said he didn’t realize that the person he’d shot was Officer Hutton until he got outside and saw him fall off of the porch, according to investigators.

He and Cummings immediately called Saline County 911 and told them they needed an ambulance for an officer who was “down,” according to the affidavit.

“All I seen was a gun,” Officer Salyers said in the 911 recording. “It was an accidental discharge.”

When Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies arrived at the scene, they found Officer Hutton lying outside the residence, suffering from a gunshot wound.

A fellow APD officer was attempting lifesaving measures at the time, KATV reported.

Officer Hutton was rushed to a hospital in Little Rock, where he was pronounced dead.

According to investigators, evidence at the scene showed that Officer Salyer’s pistol was in close contact with the door when it was fired.

“The bullet hole appeared to have contact residue, which indicated that the weapon was pressed against the door when fired,” according to the arrest affidavit. “Powder burns and a C-Shape ring of residue were left around the hole. There was a clear indentation where the pistol light, which was attached to the bottom of the barrel, marked the door as it was being fired.”

Investigators said the evidence showed Officer Salyers fired the gun with his left hand, sending a bullet through the wooden door and a glass storm door and into Officer Hutton’s upper-right chest area.

The round “traveled across his body, entered and exited the heart, then…wedged under the skin on his left side,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Officer Hutton was wearing a commonplace tactical gun belt and had his badge positioned next to his holstered firearm when he was shot.

According to a fundraising page established by the APD, Officer Hutton served two tours in the U.S. Army National Guard before he was medically retired.

He then “achieved his dream of becoming a police officer,” the department said on the fundraising page.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson described Officer Hutton as “a devoted public servant,” in a proclamation on June 9.

“Officer Hutton’s selfless and brave nature was a shining example of his dedication to uphold law and order on a daily basis despite dangerous circumstances and his own personal safety,” Hutchinson said. “As a patrol officer for the City of Alexander, Officer Hutton displayed courage, dedication, and a selfless nature when he answered the call to defend the lives of his fellow Arkansans and of all Americans.”

Hutchinson further noted that Officer Hutton is “worthy of our remembrance.”

Officer Hutton leaves behind his wife of five years, Brittany, as well as his parents, brother, niece, nephew, and many friends and extended family members.

He was laid to rest on June 9.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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