A Pine Bluff man died Friday night after being shot twice by law enforcement officers following a pursuit.
Arkansas State Police said Matthew Abrams, 40, of 2280 South Abrams Road died following the pursuit, manhunt and officer involved shooting in northeast Pine Bluff.
The ASP said in a statement that at 6:45 p.m., a Jefferson County deputy on patrol assignment in Pine Bluff saw an individual outside a Commerce Road hotel he believed to be a suspect wanted in connection with recent criminal activity in the Pine Bluff area.
The individual was later identified as Abrams.
Abrams, along with another person, got into a car and began to drive away with the deputy following. A vehicle pursuit began when Abrams refused to stop for the deputy and continued onto the Highway 65 expressway business route, then turned off Michigan Street onto the Union Pacific railway tracks.
A short distance later the passenger fled on foot and was apprehended by another law enforcement officer.
Abrams exited the vehicle and raised a gun pointed at the sheriff’s deputy, who fired his weapon. State police think that Abrams was struck by the gunfire, but he still ran into a nearby wooded area.
Law enforcement officers sealed off the area and waited on a canine search team from the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
As Department of Corrections officers entered the area, Abrams was spotted lying in an area of dense brush. Abrams is reported to have raised up, pointing a gun at the officers who ordered him to drop the gun. Abrams refused the orders and was shot by the corrections officers. Life saving measures were begun but Abrams died at the scene.
Abrams’ body and other evidence has been transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to be analyzed and a manner and cause of death determined.
At the request of the law enforcement agencies involved in the shootings and the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division has opened an investigation into the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.
The prosecuting attorney will use the investigation to determine whether the officers used deadly force consistent with Arkansas laws