Maumelle, AR – Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) Sergeant Joshua Caudell was fatally shot on Monday morning after he successfully tracked down a gunman who had been firing at Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Cody Burk said the incident began on Feb. 28 when deputies responded to a residence on Corvallis Road to conduct a welfare check on a woman who had reportedly not shown up for work, KTHV reported.
Lt. Burk said that when the deputies arrived at the home, somebody fired shots at them, KATV reported.
The SWAT team was called in to assist, but when SWAT officers made entry to the home, there was no one inside.
The sheriff’s department said that was when they requested assistance from the corrections department and the ADC tracking dogs were sent in to help search for the missing woman and the gunman, KATV reported.
Lt. Burk said the dogs tracked the suspect – identified by officials as 37-year-old Demark Lee Jordan – to underneath a trailer on Overstreet Road near the Kum and Go convenience store.
Deputies said the gunman began firing at them from his position underneath the trailer.
Sgt. Caudell, a member of the ADC’s Tucker K9 unit, was struck by gunfire, Deltaplex News reported.
The wounded hero was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later died.
“The entire Department of Corrections mourns the loss of a dedicated officer,” Arkansas Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves said when he announced the line-of-duty death. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”
Sgt. Caudell joined ADC in December of 2012, Deltaplex News reported.
He worked in the K9 division of the Tucker Unit, a maximum security state prison about 25 miles northeast of Pine Bluff in Jefferson County.
Prior to his work at Tucker, Sgt. Caudell worked in the Cummins Unit, the Maximum Security Unit, the Varner/Varner Super Max Unit, and the Pine Bluff Unit, Deltaplex News reported.
Sgt. Caudell is survived by a wife and three small children.
“In these tough times, Sgt. Caudell and his family are in our thoughts and prayers. We not only lost an officer, we lost a brother and friend,” ADC Director Dexter Payne told reporters.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Sgt. Caudell.
(1/3) Gov. Asa Hutchinson has lowered the United States flag and Arkansas state flag in tribute to the memory of Jason Lang of the West Memphis Fire Department and Sgt. Joshua Caudell of the Department of Corrections. Flags will remain at half-staff until Sat., March 5, 2022.
— Arkansas Flag Status (@arflagstatus) February 28, 2022
— Hilary Hunt (@Hilary_TV) February 28, 2022
UPDATE:Arkansas Dept. of Corrections identifies the employee shot and killed this morning as Sgt. Joshua Caudell, 29.
He has served the department since 2012 and leaves behind a wife and three kids. #ARnews
— Hunter Hoagland (@HunterHoagland) February 28, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Arkansas Department of Corrections Sergeant Joshua Caudell, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Joshua Caudell, your life mattered.