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Details emerge in last week's officer-involved shooting

Story begins with disgruntled former employee allegedly breaking into SUV, making gun threats; officer at birthday party reportedly borrowed gun from restaurant patron by Lynn LaRowe | October 18, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
JAYDEN SLEDGE

TEXARKANA, Ark.-- An off-duty Texarkana police officer borrowed a Zapata patron's firearm to confront an armed man allegedly breaking into a vehicle and threatening a civilian Wednesday at the downtown restaurant, according to records.

Jayden Jamer Sledge, 20, was allegedly observed breaking into a white Yukon parked in a lot south of Hopkins Icehouse about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Arkansas State Police Special Agent John Rhone.

Sledge allegedly pointed a 9 mm handgun and threatened to kill the husband of the Yukon's owner when confronted inside the SUV.

A woman sitting on the outdoor patio of Hopkins allegedly alerted an off-duty Texarkana, Arkansas officer who was celebrating a family member's birthday inside the establishment. That officer and a second off-duty officer gave chase as Sledge ran into Zapata's Grill and Mexican Cantina across East Third Street from Hopkins.

When approached, Sledge allegedly pulled a firearm and pointed it at the unarmed officer inside Zapata's. When the officer backed away, Sledge allegedly ran to the back storage area of the eatery.

The officer borrowed a 9 mm handgun from a Zapata's patron and proceeded to the back of the restaurant.

"Sledge was attempting to climb up a ladder and was approached again," the affidavit states.

Sledge allegedly pointed his gun at the officer a second time, prompting the officer to shoot Sledge in the arm with the patron's pistol. Sledge allegedly fell from the ladder and was taken into custody by the off-duty officers. Sledge's injury is not considered life-threatening.

Arkansas State Police assumed the investigation at the request of Texarkana Arkansas Police Department. While conducting a crime scene search of the storage area where Sledge was shot, agents allegedly found a set of car keys to a Kia Sorento which had been reported stolen earlier in the day from a parking lot outside Central Mall in Texarkana, Texas.

"On Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, Sledge was fired from Zapata's. Sledge told another employee that he was coming back to shoot the place up," the affidavit states.

Sledge made an initial court appearance Friday before Miller County District Judge Tommy Potter. Records show Sledge refused to sign paperwork Friday acknowledging his court appearance.

Sledge has been charged with breaking or entering, three counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threatening and theft by receiving.

Potter set Sledge's bail at $250,000 on a recommendation from the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He is currently being held in the Miller County jail.

Arkansas State Police are investigating. Once they complete their work and submit an investigative file, the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney's Office will review the findings to determine if the officer was justified in the shooting.

Two Arkansas State Police officers and another law enforcement officials talk Wednesday near Zapata’s where an officer-involved shooting took place. A former employee of the restaurant was allegedly shot by an off-duty police officer who borrowed a gun from a restaurant patron.  ASP is now the investigating agency.  (Staff photo by Danielle Dupree)
Two Arkansas State Police officers and another law enforcement officials talk Wednesday near Zapata’s where an officer-involved shooting took place. A former employee of the restaurant was allegedly shot by an off-duty police officer who borrowed a gun from a restaurant patron. ASP is now the investigating agency. (Staff photo by Danielle Dupree)

Print Headline: Details emerge in last week's officer-involved shooting

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