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story.lead_photo.caption Matthew Pittman

FORT SMITH -- A 19-year-old man suffered multiple gunshot wounds after police opened fire as he attempted to run over officers while evading arrest at a convenience store, according to police.

Matthew Pittman, who police say was treated for the wounds at a hospital Wednesday night and released to officers, was being sought on a warrant charging him with committing a terroristic act.

Pittman was being held Thursday in the Sebastian County jail in lieu of $153,000 bond on charges of committing a terroristic act, aggravated assault, failure to appear and failure to pay a fine.

A news release from the Fort Smith Police Department said probation and parole officers contacted the Police Department about 6 p.m. Wednesday and said Pittman was on his way to the convenience store at North 12th Street and Grand Avenue. Officers knew there was a felony warrant for his arrest on the terroristic-act charge, according to reports.

Officers found Pittman in his car in the store parking lot and attempted to arrest him, according to the release.

In a bid to escape, the release said, Pittman began ramming his car into vehicles and attempted to run over an officer. Officers fired shots that hit Pittman, stopping him.

Eight officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, police spokesman Cpl. Anthony Rice said. Three of the officers were involved in shooting Pittman, and the other five are witnesses, reports said.

The officers who fired the shots are field training officer Jeff Lum, officer-in-training Thomas Brashier and an undercover officer, according to a release from the Police Department.

The witnesses who are on administrative leave are Sgt. Wayne Barnett, officer Steven Creek, officer-in-training Chelsey Garrett, officer Dylan Harris and another undercover officer.

Rice wouldn't say how many police vehicles were damaged because the matter remains under investigation.

An affidavit with the arrest warrant regarding the terroristic act said Pittman is accused of firing shots on Dec. 17 into a home at 2118 N. Seventh St. that was occupied by a woman and her boyfriend. The warrant also charges Mason Lyles, 25, with committing a terroristic act.

According to the affidavit, Samantha Taylor saw Pittman and Lyles pull into the yard, and Pittman began trying to break into the house. As he began to enter, the affidavit said, Taylor's dog ran to the front door and Pittman retreated to the car where he pulled out a handgun.

As Taylor shut the door, she heard two gunshots, one of which hit the door, the affidavit said.

The men drove away but returned and tried to push their way in through the front door, the affidavit said, but Taylor and her boyfriend, Chancey Tyler, were able to keep them out.

State Desk on 01/05/2018

Print Headline: Police-shot man lands in lockup; 8 officers on administrative leave

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