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Walnut Ridge officers cleared in fatal shooting

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 9, 2014 at 7:40 a.m.

WALNUT RIDGE — A prosecutor has cleared two Walnut Ridge police officers of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a 52-year-old man last month.

Prosecutor Henry Boyce said no criminal charges will be filed against officers Jordan Cooksey and Matthew Schutzius in the April 23 shooting of Elijah Waltman.

Authorities said Waltman shot and wounded his ex-wife, then shot himself in the side. Waltman reportedly turned with his gun facing the officers, and police opened fire, killing him.

Boyce told The Jonesboro Sun that he reviewed the investigative file, spoke to investigators and looked at witness statements before determining that the deadly force was justified.

Walnut Ridge Police Chief Richy Thatcher said the two officers were on paid leave but will be returning to duty shortly.


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