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story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Ford is shown in this file photo. ( Democrat-Gazette file photo / Benjamin Krain)

A spokesman for the Little Rock Police Department is under investigation after he was accused of firing a rifle into the air just after midnight on New Year’s Day.

Maumelle officers were dispatched to a call in the 300 block of Country Club Parkway at roughly 12:05 a.m. after a man reported counting “45-60” shots fired from the backyard of the home of Little Rock police Lt. Michael Ford Jr., according to a report by the Maumelle police department.

Approaching the residence, the officers, patrol officer Jordan Stocks and Lt. Glyneth Hicks, smelled what they believed to be burnt gunpowder and saw fired shell casings on the home’s concrete patio, the report states.

The officers spoke with Ford, who denied that anyone at the home fired a gun, that he owned a rifle with a caliber matching the shells found outside, or that the shells were there, police said. According to the report, Ford said he worked for the Little Rock agency but refused to give his name, telling the pair they could instead “run his house.”

Ford became spokesman of the Little Rock department in 2017, replacing Lt. Steve McClanahan. Charges listed on the Maumelle report include one count each of discharging a weapon, in violation of a city ordinance, and obstructing governmental operations, a class C misdemeanor that could result in a fine of $1,124.

Capt. David Collins of Maumelle police said Ford hasn’t been arrested or cited, though an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Ford declined on Tuesday to comment on the charges, citing an internal investigation by Little Rock police.

Police spokesman officer Eric Barnes confirmed that Ford was under internal investigation, but said Ford had not been placed on leave.

Information for this article was contributed by Tony Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

CORRECTION: Lt. Michael Ford Jr. had not been charged in connection with this incident Tuesday.

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