Arkansas police: Suspect identified who killed deputy, 2 others

Arkansas State Police confirm three people, including a Yell County Sheriff's Deputy, were killed Thursday by a suspect with whom they are currently involved in a standoff. (KATV photo)

Arkansas State Police have identified the suspect who is accused of killing three people, including a Yell County deputy, on Thursday.

Authorities say James Arthur Bowden, 42, was taken into custody following a five-hour standoff with authorities.

State Police identified the deputy killed as 46-year-old Lt. Kevin Mainhart, who is a retired captain with the West Memphis Police and now serving the Yell County Sheriff's Department.

Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey described Mainhart, as a "very respected" officer in the community.

“From the moment he arrived, he was a leader not only in the department but in the community of Yell County as well," the sheriff said.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson released a statement in regard to Mainhart's death saying, "Tonight, we send our deepest sympathies to the family of Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier today. Lieutenant Mainhart's 25-year career in law enforcement in West Memphis and Yell County made Arkansas a safer place. Our thoughts, prayers and gratitiude are with the Mainhart family and all those who put their own lives in danger to serve and protect."

ASP Spokesman Bill Sadler said at approximately 7:18 Thursday morning, Mainhart was responding to a domestic disturbance call at a home on Gum Springs Road when he initiated a traffic stop at State Highway 27 and Slo-Fork Road. Sadler said he stopped the vehicle because he had possible information on a suspect vehicle connected to the disturbance call.

During the course of the traffic stop, Sadler said Mainhart was fatally wounded. A civilian passerby notified law enforcement. The deputy was later pronounced dead at a Dardanelle hospital.

Other law enforcement proceeded to the Gum Springs Road home not far from where the traffic stop was made. There they found the bodies of two females outside the home. Police believe the incidents at the traffic stop and the Gum Springs Road home are connected.

State Police say the State SWAT and Negotiations team responded to the scene, where the standoff took place.

Bowden was taken into police custody for three counts of capital murder around 2:40 p.m.

State Police say hostages who were inside the home are being checked out and will be interviewed during the ongoing investigation.

Bowden was taken to the hospital to be checked out and will then be taken to the Conway County jail.

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