Little Rock police on Friday identified two officers who shot a man while investigating a disturbance at an apartment complex Thursday.
The department said Sgt. Zachary Farley and officer Stephen Lichti opened fire on Jeromy Lavar Henderson, 22, after the lawmen confronted Henderson across the street from Squire Court Apartments. Police had been called about 12:15 a.m. to the apartment complex at 5201 Geyer Springs Road after a woman had reportedly been raped and stabbed.
Officers were searching the area for a suspect when Farley and Lichti encountered Henderson across the street at Geyer Springs Church of Christ. Police reported that Henderson was hiding behind wooden pallets.
"As the officers approached the church, Henderson emerged quickly with his arms extended out as if he had a weapon," the Police Department said in a written statement. "The officers could see a dark-colored object in his hands. Both officers immediately fired their service weapons, striking Henderson multiple times."
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Photos by Ryan Tarinelli
Photos by Ryan Tarinelli
The officers reportedly believed Henderson had a gun. They later found a cellphone in his hands, according to police.
Henderson of North Little Rock was taken to UAMS Medical Center. He was in critical but stable condition Friday and was expected to survive.
Farley and Lichti were placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, in accordance with department policy. Farley is a 16-year veteran of the department. Lichti was hired 15 years ago.
Police declined to comment on the case Friday. But the department released reports that provide new details on the disturbance at the apartment complex.
Officers found a bloodied woman at the complex who said Henderson had climbed through her kitchen window, cut her several times with a knife and struck her with a broken table leg, according to the reports. The woman, 25, was reported to have been taken taken to a hospital.
Investigators later determined the woman had not been sexually assaulted.
Police said Henderson and the woman are acquaintances and that he'd been living with her at her apartment. The property manager asked him to leave her residence the night before the shooting, according to police. It was unclear why.
Witnesses said several people helped Henderson in the attack Thursday, including someone who acted as a "lookout," police reported. Officers arrested one person but released him without charges pending further investigation.
Investigators were still on the scene when a man approached officers and told them Henderson was hiding outside the church across the street, according to the department.
Police said Henderson faces felony charges once he's released from UAMS Medical Center.
An investigation of the shooting is ongoing.
It's not the first time the department has reviewed Lichti's use of force. Police investigated his actions after Marcus Sexton, 22, died in a physical struggle with Lichti and officer Eric Hollister in August 2016.
The officers caught Sexton breaking into a home and pinned him on the ground, but Sexton fought against the officers, according to police. Sexton reportedly stopped breathing during the struggle. He was pronounced dead hours later.
An autopsy found that Sexton died from methamphetamine intoxication. Prosecutors cleared Lichti and Hollister of any legal wrongdoing in the case.
Metro on 09/23/2017
Print Headline: 2 officers identified in shooting of man; LR police say phone mistaken for gun