Two officers with the North Little Rock Police Department were placed on administrative leave Friday evening after shooting a man who they said was wielding a hatchet, according to department spokesman Officer Joe Green.
Officers responded to a call at 4:26 p.m. Friday from a Union Pacific railroad employee. The worker told police that a man was lying with his head on the tracks close to the West Broadway Street crossing near Pike Avenue, Green said.
“When they arrived on the scene, they made contact with an adult male,” Green said. “And during that confrontation with the adult male, the adult male displayed a hatchet, and we don’t know what transpired after that.”
Two of the three officers at the scene fired their weapons at the man, critically injuring him, Green said, adding that officers immediately began applying life-saving measures to the wounded man.
Investigators stopped all train traffic through the area during the initial investigation, but Green said he believed the railroad worker who first called authorities was in a passing vehicle, not in the train waiting for the tracks to be reopened.
People often hang around the area near the railroad tracks, according to Green.
“This is a frequent area for people to walk across, lay down, sleep, and they just wanted his condition to be checked out,” Green said.
The man was taken Friday night to a hospital where he remained in critical condition, according to Green.