UPDATE ON OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

03/20/2018

 UPDATE:  03/20/2018 at 1:40 PM

     As of 10:00 AM today, the next of kin of the suspect who was killed Monday evening in the Lone Rock area has been notified of his death by law enforcement authorities in the State of Iowa. The deceased can now be identified as 50 year old MICHAEL LAVELLE HOLLIMAN.  He provided an address in Nacogdoches, Texas to Baxter County Jail staff after he had been booked in back on January 30, 2018 after his arrest by Mountain Home PD for DWI. 

     The body of MICHAEL LAVELLE HOLLIMAN has been sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock where an autopsy is scheduled to be performed Wednesday morning.

     The deputy who shot and killed MICHAEL HOLLIMAN can now be identified as Deputy Craig Gates.  Deputy Gates has been with the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office since July, 2015.  He had previously worked for another law enforcement agency in Arkansas since 2014 before moving to Baxter County.

     A disabled vehicle registered to MICHAEL HOLLIMAN was found approximately one and a half miles away from the scene on Twin Creek Road, which is a forest service road.  This vehicle was towed to impound, and a search warrant is being procured to search that vehicle.  Also this afternoon, officers found a backpack, a cache of food, clothing, car keys, and other articles at a makeshift campsite in a wooded area approximately one-half mile from where the car was found along the same forest road.

     It has now been confirmed that the tractor that HOLLIMAN was operating was the one reported stolen earlier Monday.  A farm implement that was attached to the tractor when it had been stolen was also found today. It was also determined that there was an outstanding felony bench warrant for the arrest of MICHAEL HOLLIMAN for Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons (a convicted felon).  It was learned that during the arrest of MICHAEL HOLLIMAN for DWI in January, there were three loaded handguns and one disassembled shotgun in the vehicle.  Mountain Home Police later obtained the warrant on February 13, 2018 for the arrest of HOLLIMAN on the firearms charge.  The warrant had not been served and was still active at the time.

     MICHAEL HOLLIMAN was found to have an extensive past arrest history in Missouri, California, Iowa, and Texas, including convictions for Armed Robbery, Grant Theft, and Assault.    Authorities are trying to determine why HOLLIMAN was in this area. He is not known to have any family or acquaintances in this area. 

     The matter remains under active investigation by the Arkansas State Police, with the Sheriff’s Office assisting as needed.  Investigators are awaiting the results of the autopsy report prior to releasing any additional information.  According to the Sheriff’s policy, Deputy Gates will be on administrative leave for a few days.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

 

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

The Arkansas State Police, assisted by the Sheriff’s Office, is investigating the death of a man who died as a result of being shot by a Baxter County Deputy Sheriff on Monday evening, March 19th, in the Lone Rock area.

     The deputy involved in the shooting was dispatched to the Lone Rock Store at 7755 Push Mountain Road at approximately 6:11 PM to take a theft report.  After arriving at the store, the deputy was made aware that a tractor that matched the description of one reported stolen earlier in the day in the same general area was passing by the store and going West on Baxter CR 72, which is adjacent to the Lone Rock Store.

     The deputy followed the tractor down Baxter CR 72 a short distance and conducted a traffic stop at approximately 6:49 PM to inquire further into the status of the tractor.   Two minutes later, at approximately 6:51 PM, the deputy advised by radio that shots had been fired, then reported that a man was down.  Additional officers from multiple agencies responded to the location to assist, and an ambulance was dispatched from Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, as were fire/rescue personnel from the Lone Rock Fire Department.

     The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division was called to the scene to take the lead in the investigation into the shooting.  Preliminary information indicates that once the deputy stopped the tractor, the man operating the tractor confronted the deputy with a crossbow.  A physical struggle ensued, and the deputy shot the man with his sidearm.  The man was killed, and the deputy sustained minor injury.

     The matter is currently under active investigation.  The names of the deputy and the deceased are not yet being released, pending notification of next of kin of the deceased.  The body of the deceased was transferred to the Baxter County Coroner.  Other agencies assisting were the Mountain Home Police Department, Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.   Additional information will be released when deemed appropriate by the investigating agencies.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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