Washington County deputies involved in shooting identified

The Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Washington County Detention Center is seen Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Fayetteville.  (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
The Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Washington County Detention Center is seen Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)


FAYETTEVILLE -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office has identified the two deputies involved in a shooting early Sunday as Cpl. Mason Bailey and Cpl. Seth Coker.

Bailey had been with the Sheriff's Office for more than five years and Coker has been with the Sheriff's Office for almost four years, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. The two are on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

The two deputies were sent to 11321 Jim Hall Road, near Prairie Grove, around 3:18 a.m. Sunday for a report of a domestic dispute in progress, according to information from the Sheriff's Office.

When the deputies arrived and were approaching the residence they were met by a man later identified as 46-year-old Ismael Fernandez. According to the Sheriff's Office, Fernandez pointed a handgun at the deputies who fired at him, striking him at least once. Neither of the deputies were injured.

Cindy Murphy, communications director for the State Police said Monday that Fernandez was shot twice and his injuries were "not thought to be life-threatening."

The deputies administered first aid to Fernandez until a Central Emergency Services ambulance arrived, according to the news release. Fernandez was then taken to Washington Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The Sheriff's Office asked the Arkansas State Police to investigate the shooting. An internal review will also be done to determine whether Sheriff's Office policies were followed.

The State Police said the results of their investigation will be turned over to the Washington County Prosecuting Attorneys Office when it is completed. The prosecuting attorney will determine whether the use of deadly force by the deputies was consistent with Arkansas law, according to the State Police press release.

Murphy said there is no timetable for the completion of the investigation.