Lonoke, AR – A Lonoke police officer was shot Saturday night while confronting a fugitive wanted in connection with a child abduction and various “child predator cases,” according to state police.
William Robert Ice, 38, has been accused of abducting a 14-year-old girl from North Carolina, the Arkansas State Police (ASP) said in a press release on Sunday.
At approximately 8 p.m. on Saturday night, two Lonoke Police Department (LPD) officers spotted a Dodge SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle parked outside a McDonald’s restaurant near Interstate 40.
They could see two people inside the vehicle, and ordered the driver to get out as they made their approach, the ASP said.
The driver, later identified as Ice, complied with their order and started to exit the SUV.
But as he did so, he suddenly aimed a gun at LPD Officer Cody Carpenter and opened fire, the LPD said in a press release on Sunday evening.
Officer Brandon Ray, who was uninjured in the attack, immediately returned fire as Ice jumped back into the SUV and fled the scene.
An ASP trooper out on patrol in the area heard the radio call about an officer being down and happened to see Ice’s SUV speeding out of the McDonald’s parking lot, the ASP said.
“The trooper pursued the vehicle through Lonoke, south along Arkansas Highway 31, and onto Raprich Road, where it became disabled in a snowbank,” according to the state police.
The passenger jumped out of the SUV and was taken to safety by a state trooper.
ASP identified her as the 14-year-old kidnapping victim from North Carolina.
Troopers found Ice behind the wheel of the SUV suffering “from what preliminarily appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to the ASP.
The suspect succumbed to his wounds at a Little Rock hospital on Sunday morning.
Officer Carpenter was rushed to a Little Rock hospital and has since been listed in stable condition, according to the ASP.
“Officer Carpenter suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was airlifted to a local hospital for emergency medical care,” the LPD said in the press release on Sunday. “He is expected to make a full recovery and is in good spirits given the circumstances.”
— Cassandra Webb (@cassandrawebbtv) February 22, 2021
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies raced to the scene after learning Officer Carpenter had been shot.
“The Lonoke Police Department would like to send a tremendous Thank You out to The Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Southern Paramedics, Survival Flight and UAMS for coming to the aid of Officer Cody Carpenter,” the agency said in the press release.
Please join me in praying for the City of Lonoke Police Officer who was shot and has been airlifted to the hospital tonight. pic.twitter.com/8DTDSS00zK
— Leslie Rutledge (@AGRutledge) February 21, 2021
Officer Carpenter served many years as a law enforcement officer prior to joining the LPD in January.
He is also a National Guardsman and a Lonoke Fire Department volunteer firefighter, according to his department.
Officer Ray, a two-year veteran-of-the-force, has been placed on administrative leave while the incident remains under investigation.
“Officer Ray is expected to make an honorable return to duty as soon as the Arkansas State Police have concluded their investigation into the shooting,” the LPD noted.
The department praised Officer Carpenter and Officer Ray for saving the kidnapped teen.
“Thanks to the bravery of these two officers, 14-year-old female has been safely returned to her family in Denton, North Carolina,” the LPD said.
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) deputies in North Carolina had been searching for the missing 14-year-old since Feb. 11, WGNO reported.
According to investigators, the teen had been using her school-issued computer to access multiple online platforms in order to communicate with Ice.
Ice was also allegedly speaking with several other juvenile females in Alamance County, North Carolina, WGNO reported.