Man fatally shot by White County deputy identified

Chief Deputy Phillip Miller says 69-year-old James Newman of Rosebud died of his injuries in the officer-involved shooting. (Photo courtesy: White County Sheriff's Office)

White County authorities have identified a suspect who was fatally shot by a deputy responding to a call of possible gunfire Saturday.

Chief Deputy Phillip Miller says 69-year-old James Newman of Rosebud died of his injuries at the Unity Health Medical Center.

Authorities got the call at 7:18 p.m. about possible shots fired from two separate homes on Sidon Rd.

After speaking to someone at the scene, a deputy attempted to contact Newman.

"The deputy went over and tried to make contact with him,” said Miller. “The gentleman wouldn't come to the door at that point. So, he went back over to the original complainant."

At that point, Newman came to his door holding a rifle.

"And at some point actually fired some rounds off, not in the direction of the officer we don't believe, but fired some rounds with the rifle," said Miller.

Miller says the deputy made repeated requests for Newman to put down his rifle, but he refused those orders and pointed his rifle at the deputy while approaching him.

"At first, he was still talking to him, then he moved from just approaching him, to a more aggressive manner and took kind of a shooting stance," said Miller.

The deputy fired at Newman, who was hit by the gunfire and taken to the Unity Health Medical Center, where he later died.

Channel 7 discovered Saturday wasn't the first time authorities were called out to Newman's home.

The sheriff's office made visits twice in 2015, then once again in 2016.

In all three instances, it was the same complaint: shots being fired in the area of Newman’s home.

Arkansas State Police special agents are investigating the shooting and will submit an investigative file to the White County prosecuting attorney.

The deputy, whose name has not been released, has been put on administrative leave, as per department policy.

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