Little Rock, AR – The Little Rock police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave after he fired his service weapon on New Year’s Eve at a woman who was shooting at another woman at a gas station (video below).
Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey was on patrol on Friday night when he saw a fight happening at the Superstop in the 5100-block of Asher Avenue, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Cell phone video captured by a witness showed that a man and woman were fighting by a white sedan that was pulled up to one of the gas pumps.
The woman held a large bottle in her right hand and suddenly turned and rushed at the vehicle.
The video showed she used the bottle to smash the front passenger window of the car.
Then she turned and began screaming at the man again in the video.
In the background, a black SUV pulled into the parking lot of the gas station.
Chief Humphrey was inside that SUV, according to KLRT.
Police said that as the police chief was exiting his vehicle to intervene in the dispute, another woman – later identified as 29-year-old Taz Hayes – pulled out a gun and started shooting, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Hayes’ bullet struck the 22-year-old woman who was part of the altercation.
Chief Humphrey drew his weapon then and fired a shot at Hayes, but missed, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Hayes fled the scene but was later apprehended by Arkansas State Police.
The state police said the wounded woman was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Hayes was arrested and booked into the Pulaski County jail.
She has been charged with first-degree battery, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Investigators recovered a bullet from a car in the gas station parking lot and have taken it to the state crime lab for testing to determine if it was the shot fired by Chief Humphrey.
In the meantime, the police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
The Arkansas State Police is heading up the investigation.
“This is an unprecedented situation because it involves our chief of police,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said in a statement posted to social media on Saturday afternoon.
Scott said the city had also asked the state police to investigate the initial fight that Chief Humphrey was responding to in an effort to remain “accountable, clear and transparent,” the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
— Frank Scott, Jr. (@FrankScottJr) January 1, 2022
The findings of the state police investigation will be forwarded to Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley, whose office will determine the police chief’s use of force was justified.
Chief Humphrey had announced on Thursday that he would be out in uniform on Dec. 31, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
The police chief and his command staff have also patrolled the streets on previous New Year’s Eves.
The mayor said he had asked Little Rock Police Assistant Chief Crystal Haskins to act as chief until Chief Humphrey was able to return to full duty, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: