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story.lead_photo.caption Police tape

A police officer was killed Thursday in Helena-West Helena, according to a Twitter post from the New Orleans office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Agents from the ATF office in Little Rock were assisting in the investigation of the fatal shooting of a Helena-West Helena police officer at a local motel, according to the Twitter post, which was posted just after 10 p.m.

Helena-West Helena Police Chief James Smith confirmed that an officer was shot at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and died later at a local hospital.

The ATF post said a suspect in the shooting, Latarius Howard, was on the run and considered armed and dangerous. Smith confirmed that Howard, 29, was last seen in a maroon SUV.

Information about the identity of the officer was not available Thursday night.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said late Thursday night that the agency had investigators on the scene to assist.

This story is developing.


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