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Hero Down: Stuttgart Police Department Sgt. Donald Scoby Murdered By Gunman

Stuttgart, AR – Stuttgart Police Department (SPD) Sergeant Donald Scoby was murdered in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend an armed suspect late Wednesday night.

The incident began south of Stuttgart at approximately 11 p.m. on Dec. 14, KATV reported.

Sgt. Scoby, 45, and a fellow SPD officer were in a motor vehicle pursuit with 31-year-old Jacob Cole Barnes when Barnes suddenly bailed out of his vehicle near Rieger Road and took off running on foot, according to the Arkansas State Police (ASP).

As the two officers were chasing after the suspect, he allegedly opened fire on them, KATV reported.

Sgt. Scoby was fatally struck by the gunfire.

The ASP said the second SPD officer was shot in the ballistic vest, but that he did not suffer any substantial injuries, according to KLRT.

Police said Barnes subsequently entered a woman’s home in the 500-block of Rieger Road, KATV reported.

The woman was able to barricade herself inside the residence until she was rescued by an ASP SWAT team just before 7 a.m. on Thursday.

After she was safely extricated, Barnes allegedly opened fire on police again – this time hitting a member of the state police’s SWAT team, KATV reported.

The wounded officer was transported to a Little Rock Hospital with injuries officials described as non-life threatening.

Barnes was fatally shot by officers during the exchange of gunfire, KATV reported.

Sgt. Scoby served the SPD for four years.

He was named SPD Officer of the Year in 2019.

“Late last night, Sergeant Donald Scoby with the Stuttgart Police Department was shot and killed in the line of duty,” Stuttgart Mayor Norma Strabala said in a statement to the Stuttgart Daily Leader. “Donald was a dedicated officer, fierce advocate for this community, and a dear personal friend. His love for Stuttgart, his brothers and sisters on the force, and his family and friends will endure and outlast this grief.”

“I hope everyone joins me in praying for his sweet family, and for our entire Police Department,” Strabala said. “Scoby, we are forever grateful for your love and service to the City of Stuttgart.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Stuttgart Police Department Sergeant Donald Scoby, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Sergeant Donald Scoby, your life mattered.

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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