After review the casefile, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Walton has ruled that a Bryant officer was justified when he fatally shot an individual last month.

"My review of the evidence clearly demonstrates that Sgt. (David) Miller was justified and acted in self defense when he shot and killed (Austin) Swindle," Walton wrote in a letter to Arkansas State Police. "There is no evidence from which I can conclude that criminal charges are warranted against Sgt. Miller."

Last month, Bryant officers responded to 1200 Whirlwind St. in response to a call from concerned family member about a suicidal person.

Bryant officers including Officer Samantha Hodgson approached the door of the apartment. Hodgson announced that she was a police officer and requested that Swindle come to the door to talk. 

"As she leaned forward to listen for noise inside the apartment, Swindle fired a shotgun through the door striking Hodgson in the head," Walton added. 

Officers pulled Hodgson to safety and called to area officers that Hodgson was injured. 

Miller, a 15-year veteran of the department, responded to the scene. He reportedly observed Swindle pointing a shotgun at officers and told Swindle to put the gun down and talk to him. 

"Swindle moved, lowered himself and appeared to look in the direction of other officers," Walton explained. "Sgt. Miller put a weapon-mounted light on Swindle and again told Swindle to put the gun down or he would shoot, but Swindle started to raise his shotgun at Sgt. Miller again."

Miller fired two rounds from his service weapon striking Swindle once calling his death. 

Following the shooting, a search of Swindle's apartment revealed two notes dated that night. Both notes were reportedly about suicide. 

Swindle was also highly intoxicated at the time of his death, Walton said.  

After being injured, Hodgson was transported via helicopter to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She spent four days in the hospital, including some time in the intensive care unit. 

She had a complete injury to the left side face from her neck to the top of her head. 

Hodgson said she is healing well and is looking forward to coming back to work once she is completing healed. 

 

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