FORT SMITH, Ark. — Three people are dead and a police officer is recovering from surgery following a knife attack in northwest Arkansas, authorities said Sunday.
The attack happened on Sunday in Fort Smith, Arkansan, located about 160 miles northwest of Little Rock. In an afternoon news conference, Fort Smith Police Chief Danny Baker said officers were dispatched to a report of a disturbance fight with weapons around 6 a.m.
Upon arrival, an officer found a man, Christofer Conner, hitting a 15-year-old boy in the face and head with a rock. As the officer tried to place Conner, 40, in restraints, the suspect pulled out a knife and sliced the officer’s throat and neck, Baker said.
The officer then fired two shots, killing Conner, according to the Associated Press.
The boy, identified as Conner’s son, was pronounced dead at the hospital. He had been stabbed multiple times and sustained blunt force trauma.
Inside the home, police saw evidence of a violent attack and located the body of 42-year-old Julia Marie Moore who had multiple stab wounds. A 5-year-old child, also found inside the house, was placed with relatives.
Police did not immediately say what the relationship was between Conner and Moore, nor did they identify the parents of the 5-year-old found in the home.
The officer was in surgery Sunday morning, Aric Mitchell, a spokesman for the Fort Smith Police Department, said.
The injured officer will be placed on administrative leave. A second officer, who was not involved in the shooting, will also be placed on leave “pending post-critical incident treatment.”
“Fort Smith is a wonderful community and when unimaginable tragedies like this happen, they leave us scared, angry, frustrated, and for some, homeless,” Baker said. “It hurts us as much as it does each of you when an outcome like this is unavoidable.
“I’m thankful for officers, who are willing to put their lives on the line when evil threatens our community. I’m thankful for the medical team who took care of our officer and I’m thankful for a community that always pulls together when tragedy strikes.”
The department asked the Arkansas State Police to investigate. Bill Sadler, a spokesman for Arkansas State Police, said he could not immediately provide any additional information.
Both Mitchell and Sadler said authorities may provide more information later Sunday afternoon.
Contributing: The Associated Press