Pharmacy break-in suspect still at large, officer disciplined for warning shot

Pharmacy break-in suspect still at large, officer disciplined for warning shot
(Source: Raycom Media)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - A Newport pharmacy break-in led to a high-speed chase with officers across two counties. An officer now faces disciplinary action for firing a warning shot during the incident.

It happened at Darlings Pharmacy on McLain St. around 3:45 a.m. Friday, according to a Newport police incident report.

The report states Officer Brian Bickel arrived at the pharmacy where he saw a suspicious car parked by a fence near the building.

That's when he heard an alarm coming from the front of the building.

When he drove to the front of the building, Bickel states he saw someone leaving the building under the front doors where the glass was broken out. That person began running around to the back of the facility.

According to the report, that is when the officer pulled his weapon from his holster and ordered the suspect to stop.

The suspect kept running towards the back of the pharmacy. When the officer chased and turned the corner, Bickel said he realized the suspect was trying to pick up items after dropping the bag they were carrying.

He then chased the suspect until that suspect got into his car and drove off. After notifying dispatch that the suspect was getting away, another patrolman began a vehicle pursuit.

The patrolman, later identified as Officer Steven Scudder, attempted to stop the vehicle after seeing it leave the scene.

According to Newport Police Chief Michael Scudder, that pursuit involving multiple agencies started in Jackson County and ended in Cross County in Wynne.

The suspect then got out of his vehicle, ran off in a residential area, and eluded officers.

Chief Scudder originally told Region 8 News an officer's weapon accidentally discharged as he was taking it out of the holster.

However, a news release on Wednesday revealed Officer Steven Scudder "did intentionally discharge his firearm in the air as a warning shot to the fleeing suspect" during the foot pursuit.

The action was a violation of Newport Police Department Policy and disciplinary measures have been taken regarding the incident, according to the same news release.

No one was injured in the incident.

The suspect is still at large. Chief Scudder encourages anyone with any information on who this suspect might be, call the Newport Police Department at (870)-523-2722.

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