JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) While the officer involved in Monday mornings shooting at I-Hop wasn't on duty, University Police Department Interim Director Randy Martin says the officer had every right to carry his gun.
"If they're a certified law enforcement officer working for a law enforcement agency in the state of Arkansas they can carry their weapon off duty if they choose," said Martin.
Martin says no permits are needed, but officers must have their police I-D and badge.
"In this situation, even a concealed carrier permit carrier could have found themselves in this position. It wouldn't necessarily have had to been a police officer present for this to occur," said Martin.
Martin says there are rules in criminal procedure for officers if they have to react to something out of their jurisdiction.
"However the officer we're discussing now was as much a victim of that situation as they were a police officer who was interjecting into the situation," said Martin.
Martin says UPD's investigation is strictly on the officer's action and whether they were warranted, Jonesboro Police Department is investigating the incident itself.
Martin adds there are numerous things to take into consideration when investigating a case like this.
"You have to place yourself in the officer's position when you review the incident and see if that officer, or if it's just a citizen of the public, and see what they interpreted as the threat and how they defined it," said Martin.
As we mentioned the UPD officer, Bobby Duff, has been placed on paid administrative leave following the incident, Martin says that is pretty standard practice industry-wide.