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story.lead_photo.caption Police lights are shown in this file photo.

UPDATE: Amador was arrested today in Fort Smith. See our story for more.

EARLIER:

FORT SMITH — A manhunt is underway in Fort Smith for a shooting suspect who is believed to be armed.

Fort Smith Police Department spokesman Aric Mitchell said the search was initiated Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Service. At around 5 p.m., Alex Amador crashed his vehicle near Ed Walker’s Drive-In & Restaurant at 1500 Towson Ave. while being pursued by marshals and fled on foot from there. The Fort Smith Police Department was called to assist in setting up a perimeter and searching for Amador.

“He is, from what I understand, wanted for a shooting in Springdale, and he is believed to be armed,” Mitchell said. “We definitely want the public to use caution if … they’re approached by someone they don’t know on this area of town.”

Randy Coyne, supervisory deputy for the Western District of Arkansas, said at about 8:10 p.m. Tuesday the U.S. Marshals Service was searching for Amador in relation to a charge of a violent crime that took place in Springdale, although he could not specify the exact date. The U.S. Marshals Service identified Amador Tuesday afternoon in a car with a female driver.

“We attempted to initiate a traffic stop, and the driver fled from us for approximately two miles,” Coyne said. “At about the two mile mark roughly, she had an accident. Not a critical accident, but enough to disable the vehicle. We … took her into custody immediately.”

“The target of our search, Alex Amador, fled. We believe that he’s armed. We believe that he may have fired a round during the chase. We’re trying to confirm that now. … But we did confirm he’s armed for sure. And we actually think he’s still out here in the area right now.”

Coyne said the pursuit began at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The woman was released after she was detained, although the U.S. Marshals Service reserves the right to arrest her at a later time.

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