On Saturday at about 4 a.m. officers of the Pine Bluff Police Department responded to the area of 18th and Cypress Drive in reference to a suspicious subject with a gun.
“One of our officers made contact with the suspect and was approached,” Officer Richard Wegner said in a press release. “The suspect fired multiple shots at the officer who was not harmed but his police car was struck twice.”
Wegner said the suspect fled the area on foot and was spotted about one block west by another officer. The suspect, later identified as 49-year-old Robert Jones became physically aggressive toward that officer but no shots were fired.
He then broke contact with the officer and ran into the unoccupied side of a duplex at 1721 W. Circle Drive. Officers surrounded the home and evacuated the residents from the occupied side.
“A police negotiator was called to the scene to try and talk him into surrendering,” Wegner said in the release. “Police attempts at communication were met by expletives being yelled by Jones.”
The police department’s SWAT team was activated and responded to the scene. Surrounding homes were then evacuated for safety, as the SWAT team was preparing.
“SWAT deployed tear gas into the home through several windows,” Wegner said in the release. “While doing this, Jones broke out a window and fired at least one shot. Shortly after the gas was deployed and had time to take effect, Jones exited the house and surrendered without further incident.”
Following the incident, a gun was recovered and Jones was booked into the Jefferson County Jail for aggravated assault. The investigation into Jones’ motives is continuing and as information is developed, charges may be amended to reflect those changes.
“Despite the dangerous and serious nature of this incident, no public, police, or suspects received any injuries,” Wenger said. “The only shots fired were those fired by the suspect. Following the conclusion of this incident, all families were able to return to their homes after being displaced for about an hour and a half. This included the family in the other half of the duplex Jones used.”