Rector, AR – The officer-involved shooting of an armed man outside a convenience store was broadcast in a Facebook Live video on Wednesday night (video below).
Rector police officers first encountered the gunman, later identified as 21-year-old Gary Warbritton, after concerned citizens reported that he was walking down Main Street while brandishing a firearm at approximately 3:47 p.m., the Arkansas State Police (ASP) said in a news release.
During the initial encounter, Warbritton pointed his firearm at one of the officers, who then fired his weapon at the suspect, police said.
Warbritton took off on foot, and soon wound up at a convenience store at the intersection of U.S. Highway 49 and Main Street.
The officers repeatedly attempted to “persuade” Warbritton to drop his gun, but he refused, state police said.
Cell phone footage showed the tense encounter, during which officers could be seen standing with feet of the deranged, shirtless gunman.
Warbritton waved his arms wildly and paced around the parking lot with the weapon in his hand, and repeatedly pointed it at officers, the video showed.
He also fired off several rounds throughout the encounter, according to the Northeast Arkansas Report.
The video showed Warbritton as he lunged towards two officers standing nearby, while a third officer closed in on his right side.
The suspect raised the gun in his hand and pointed it at one of the officers at close range, at which point the officer fired his weapon at Warbritton.
The gunman crumpled to the ground, but kept his right arm extended and his gun pointed at the officers.
On officer appeared to swipe at Warbritton’s weapon just before he tackled the suspect and pinned him to the ground.
Warbritton died at the scene, according to the ASP media release.
His body will be transported to the state crime laboratory for autopsy.
None of the officers were injured during the encounter.
The ASP Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the officer-involved shooting.
They will forward their findings to prosecutors, who will determine whether the use of deadly force complied with State law.
You can watch cell phone footage of the officers’ encounter with Warbritton in the video below: