A Jefferson County man was killed Friday night after a vehicle pursuit, manhunt and officer involved shooting on the northeast side of Pine Bluff.
Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley pronounced Matthew Abrams, 40, of 2280 S. Abrams Road dead at the scene and listed the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds. The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.
Abrams was shot after he reportedly had pointed a gun at first a Sheriff’s Deputy and then at canine officers from the Arkansas Department of Corrections who were involved in the search.
At the request of the law enforcement agencies involved in the incident and Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter, the Arkansas State Police will handle the investigation and forward the results to Hunter who will determine if the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas law.
A press release from the State Police said the deputy, who was not identified, saw an individual later identified as Abrams outside a hotel on Commerce Road and believed the subject was wanted in connection with criminal activity. Abrams got into a vehicle and the vehicle fled the scene toward the Martha Mitchell Expressway with the deputy in pursuit.
Traveling west on the expressway, the vehicle then turned north onto Michigan Street and onto the Union Pacific Railroad tracks where the vehicle became stuck. The passenger fled on foot and was quickly apprehended by another law enforcement officer.
Abrams then exited the vehicle and pointed a gun at the deputy who fired his weapon and is believed to have struck Abrams who then fled on foot into a wooded area.
Multiple law enforcement agencies established a perimeter to seal off the area until the DOC canine search team arrived on the scene. When they did, they entered the wooded area and spotted Abrams who was lying in an area of dense brush. He is reported to have raised up and pointed a gun at the officers who ordered him to drop the gun. When he refused, he was shot by the officers.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, a small caliber handgun was found near Abrams’ body.