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story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock police crime scene personnel and detectives investigate a scene at Bowman Heights Apartment at 420 Markham Mesa Place where a police officer shot a man who was trying to break into the officer’s apartment Tuesday morning. The man was taken to the hospital in serious condition. - Photo by Benjamin Krain

Authorities said a police officer shot a man who was breaking into the officer's west Little Rock apartment Tuesday morning, marking the city's first officer-involved shooting of the year.

After the shooting, the man was taken to a hospital in serious condition, according to Little Rock police spokesman Lt. Michael Ford.

According to Ford, the officer was at home in the Bowman Heights apartments, 420 Markham Mesa Place, shortly before 10:30 a.m. when the man began banging on the officer's door and yelling incoherently.

The officer told him to leave but the man continued to bang on the door and at some point broke out a window, Ford said.

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Photos by Brandon Riddle

It wasn't clear if the man was armed, Ford said. He declined to identify the officer but described him as a veteran of the force.

Later in the day, Ford said somebody else was in the apartment when the shooting occurred.

An investigation is ongoing, and findings will be turned over to prosecutors once it is concluded, Ford said.

Also on Tuesday, John Johnson, chief deputy prosecutor, said the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office had ruled police used justified deadly force in the fall shooting of Jeromy Lavar Henderson.

In September, Sgt. Zachary Farley and officer Stephen Lichti opened fired on Henderson outside a church in southwest Little Rock.

Police said the lawmen were searching for a suspect when they encountered Henderson. The department said Henderson, who reportedly was hiding behind wooden pallets, emerged quickly with his arms extended out as if he had a weapon. Police said both officers could see a dark-colored object in Henderson's hands and both fired their weapons, hitting Henderson multiple times, the department reported.

Police found no weapon, but recovered a cellphone near Henderson, the department said.

It was one of six shootings involving Little Rock officers last year.

The latest of those six came in October when officer Brittany Gunn fatally shot James Hartsfield as he sped toward a brick wall outside the Prospect Building at 1501 N. University Ave, according to police.

The vehicle crashed through the wall and landed on North University Avenue, police said. Hartsfield, who had been shot multiple times, died at the scene. Johnson said Tuesday that the prosecuting attorney's office is reviewing the case file.

In July, officer Ralph Breshears shot and wounded Rudy Avila outside a Chick-fil-A in west Little Rock after Avila fled from officers on foot, forced a woman from her vehicle and tried to drive away.

Breshears, who has since retired from the department, was arrested earlier this year on one count of third-degree battery that stemmed from his role in the shooting.

Court documents said Breshears fired his weapon and hit Avila, "placing the female victim in harm's way." And during the investigation, Breshears gave a taped statement that appeared to be "inconsistent with what can be seen on surveillance video," the documents show.

Metro on 02/28/2018

Print Headline: LR officer reported to shoot intruder

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