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Two North Little Rock Police officers were placed on administrative leave Friday evening after shooting a man reportedly wielding a hatchet, according to department spokesman Officer Joe Green.

Officers responded to a call at 4:26 p.m. from a Union Pacific railroad employee saying a man was lying with his head on the tracks near its intersection with West Broadway 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 out of the three officers at the scene fired their weapons at the suspect, critically injuring him; Green said officers immediately began applying life-saving measures to the wounded man.

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Police late Friday had been unable to identify the wounded man, according to a department news release. The man remained in critical condition Friday night at the hospital where he was taken, according to Green.

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.

The area is a common place where people hang around, 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 department did not identify the officers that fired their weapons, saying in the news release that they would be identified in the "near future."

In addition to the two officers that fired, a third officer was also placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident, the news release stated.


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