JUDSONIA — A gunman who twice opened fire on authorities during a standoff at his White County house was fatally shot early Tuesday by the Arkansas State Police SWAT team, police said.
Charles Adrien Martin, 40, died at a White County hospital after being shot shortly after 1 a.m.
Police responded about 8 p.m. Monday to Martin's neighborhood in a subdivision off Arkansas 367 north of Judsonia after residents reported a neighbor making threats to them, police said in a prepared statement.
Two neighbors on Tuesday said it began when Martin threatened a young girl who lives across the street.
An officer attempted to make contact with Martin, but he came out of his house at 117 Meadowview Circle and fired a gun at the lawman, Arkansas State Police said in a news release. The officer wasn't hit.
Martin for several hours refused to come out of his house. The State Police SWAT team then responded, using a robot to approach the front door and get inside about 1 a.m.
"Minutes later Martin opened fire on the robot, disabling the device, then directed gunfire toward the State Police SWAT team that had taken cover behind a State Police armored truck situated at the front of Martin’s home," State Police spokesman Bill Sadler wrote in the news release.
Troopers returned fire, hitting Martin.
Sandra Wade, 24, said the 10-year-old girl who was threatened came to her house just down the block and spoke with her husband, who then walked the girl back home. Wade said the youth's family has feuded with Martin in the past and that the girl reported he threatened to kill her.
Sadler said police would not comment or release more information about the threat because of the "ongoing active investigation."
Wade said first one officer arrived on scene and was yelling at Martin before there was a gunshot.
"My husband came running in and told me to keep the kids inside," she said. "Next thing I know the street was lined with police."
Wade and her husband watched the events unfold, recording video from their front window. In it, the armored truck is visible in front of Martin's home and police orders are audible.
"Charles, come to the front door," an officer is heard saying at one point. "Come to the front door, Charles. Show yourself."
A couple minutes later in the video, several gunshots in quick succession are heard.
"To me, it's sad," Wade said. "It's sad that he lost his life. Obviously, he made a choice not to come outside, but it's still sad."
Lillian Breshears, 63, lives several houses down from 117 Meadowview Circle. She said she heard about the threat from another neighbor who called and then watched the block fill with authorities. She said she heard a "pop-pop-pop" noise after 1 a.m. that she now knows was gunfire.
Breshears said she didn't know much about Martin other than that he had served in the military at some point.
"It's a shame that he had to die this way," she said, standing on her front step down the street from a the crime tape around Martin's yard. "I'm just sorry that it happened."
Police say the shooting remains under investigation and that a case file will ultimately be delivered to the White County prosecutor for review to determine whether the use of deadly force was lawful.