ASP investigating shooting involving Jonesboro officers

Jonesboro police release name of officer involved in shooting
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 3:57 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:20 PM CST

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting involving a Jonesboro police officer.

ASP said the incident happened Thursday as 18-year-old Travon Brewer was walking along Walnut Street in Helena carrying a rifle.

The officer, who was part of a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force, shot and wounded Brewer “when Brewer reportedly raised the rifle that was on his side and pointed the gun toward police,” ASP stated.

The officer and others were in the 1500-block of Cherry Street around 12:45 p.m., March 3 searching for a wanted fugitive when they heard gunfire nearby.

“Two of the team members, both Jonesboro police officers, separated from the officers at the Cherry Street address to search for the source of the gunfire. When the officers encountered Brewer, repeated commands were given to Brewer to drop the rifle,” ASP said. “Reportedly, Brewer ignored the orders and raised the rifle in the direction of the officers, leading one of the Jonesboro officers to fire his service weapon on Brewer who then ran toward a residence, collapsing outside.”

Both officers provided aid to Brewer until an ambulance arrived and took him to a Memphis hospital.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the case, which will be turned over to the Phillips County prosecuting attorney’s office to determine if the shooting was justified.

Sally Smith, public information specialist for the Jonesboro Police Department, said the officer who shot Brewer - Investigator Michael Talley - is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Talley was also involved in a 2019 shooting in Jonesboro in which a man, Jay Michael Clem, was killed.

In that case, prosecutors said the shooting was justified.

Then-prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington said that Clem “fired his weapon in the direction of the officers” and that the initial return fire, which knocked him off the porch, was justified.

“When the officers approached Clem and commanded him to show them his hands, he disobeyed, instead reaching for and raising his weapon toward the officers once more.” Ellington said in 2019. “Thus causing the officers to once again fire in self-defense, as well as in defense of the officers next to them.”

The officers in Thursday’s incident were part of a task force looking for someone when the incident happened, she said.

Eight Jonesboro officers were assigned to the task force Thursday.

However, Dave Oney with the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday that his agency was not involved in the operation involving the Jonesboro officer. Oney told Region 8 News that the Marshals Service was in the area for a different operation when they heard the call about the shooting involving JPD and responded to help.

Oney said he believed the operation involving the Jonesboro officer dealt with Arkansas Community Corrections, but that did not have exact details.

Smith said the officer who fired the weapon did not have a body camera working at the time of the incident and is not required to do so when working with federal marshals.

However, she did say the other officers at the scene had their body cameras on but she could not release the video due to it being an “active investigation.”

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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