Crittenden County Teen Recovering in Memphis Hospital Following Attack on Trooper

MARCH 13, 2006 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CST

SHEARERVILLE, AR - State Police say a 17-year-old Shearerville youth is hospitalized in Memphis after he was wounded by a gunshot fired by a state trooper.  A news release said the youth, who wasn't named because of his age, was shot yesterday after he attacked the officer and a Crittenden County sheriff's deputy with a hammer and an ax.

According to a news release, the shooting occured after Trooper Matt Roberson responded about 10:30 a.m. to a radio call from the Crittenden County sheriff's office seeking assistance for a deputy.  The deputy was responding to a domestic disturbance call at Shearerville, about 15 miles west of West Memphis.

The release said that, as Roberson arrived, he saw the juvenile standing in the middle of the road holding an ax as he picked up a hammer from the road.  According to the release, the teen had already thrown a hammer through the driver's side window of the deputy's patrol car.

The release said the second hammer was thrown at Roberson as he got out of his patrol car, and the youth then swung the ax, hitting the hood of Roberson's patrol car and inflicting a four-inch long dent on the car's hood.  Police said Roberson ordered the youth to drop the ax, but the youth instead held the ax in position indicating he was prepared to swing the ax at the trooper as he moved toward the officer.

The release said that, after another warning to drop the ax, Roberson fired his .45-caliber service weapon twice, wounding the youth once in the right thigh.  The juvenile was taken to a Memphis hospital, State Police said.

The agency said the shooting would be reviewed and the results submitted to Second Judicial District Prosecutor Brent Davis of Jonesboro.  Davis will determine if it was justified and if any charge will be filed against the youth.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)