Prosecutor determines officers were justified in shooting

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - New details have been released involving a December officer-involved shooting in Batesville.

Region 8 News has obtained the letter from 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer to Arkansas State Police stating she believes two Batesville police officers were justified in a 2017 officer-involved shooting.

The letter states, "the officers will not be charged as I find no violation of criminal law by the officers." Meyer said she did not review the matter regarding best practices, training, or other internal law enforcement policy and procedure issues.

Hatley was charged with aggravated assault and felon in possession of a firearm.

The shooting happened on December 16, 2017. Batesville Police officers Jordan Akins and Amber Branscum stopped Andrew D. Hatley of Batesville when he reportedly got out of the car and pointed a gun at law enforcement.

"Two officers with the Batesville Police Department were conducting a traffic stop on US Highway 167. Hatley, who was a passenger in the stopped vehicle, began to resist the officers and fled on foot," ASP Public Information TFC Liz Chapman said. "According to initial statements, Hatley ran a short distance then turned and pointed a handgun at the officers. Both officers fired their weapons, striking Hatley, who was transported to a local hospital for treatment."

No officers were injured in the incident.

A woman said she saw what happened outside the gas station where she works.

"We saw that two cars, or two cop cars, had somebody pulled over and then the next thing I know, there was gunshots and then someone screaming and I ran out there to see what was going on and that's when we have seen, the, I guess, suspect was on the ground," Tina Hollinger said.

Employees at the gas station on Highway 167 said while they had never seen a shooting in the area, they were shocked to witness the incident.

Hatley is currently in the Independence County Jail.

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