Arkansas corrections officer killed in Pulaski County standoff; federal and local police are looking for a shooter

Federal and local agencies conducted a widespread search Monday for a man accused of killing an Arkansas Department of Corrections officer after an hour-long standoff with police at a residence outside Maumelle.

sergeant. Joshua Caudell, 29, was shot by the man Monday while searching the area with a group of other K-9 handlers, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Cody Burke said.

Burke said the K-9 units were going through the woods with the dogs when they were alerted to a nearby trailer.

At around 4 a.m., Caudell, another K-9 handler and a sheriff’s deputy were trying to look under the trailer when shots were fired by the subject – identified by police as Demark Lee Jordan.

Caudell, a husband and father of three, had been with the Tucker K-9 unit and the Department of Corrections since December 2012.

“The entire Department of Corrections mourns the loss of a dedicated officer,” Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves said in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.”

Pulaski County deputies first responded to Jordan’s residence, on the 1400 block of Corvallis Road near Maumelle, around 8 p.m. Sunday for a welfare check on Jordan’s wife, Burke said.

“She didn’t show up for work that day,” Burke said. “Once we reached the residence, gunfire came from the residence that we thought was aimed at us.”

Authorities later learned the woman was not at the residence and was safe, Burke said.

The Pulaski County SWAT team was called and surrounded the home, Burke said. Burke said around 2:30 a.m. the house in Corvallis Road was determined to be empty.

K-9 units from the Arkansas Department of Corrections arrived around 3 a.m. About an hour later, Jordan was tracked to the trailer he was hiding under on Overstreet Road – not far from his residence, authorities said.

“After the first shots they thought he was still down there and they set up a perimeter,” Burke said.

The Arkansas State Police Bomb Squad and Little Rock Police Bomb Squad arrived to help, Burke said. Around 10:30 a.m., robots from the teams were sent under the house, and authorities reportedly discovered that Jordan was no longer there.

The United States Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Arkansas State Police; and several local agencies were helping the sheriff’s office search for Jordan early Monday evening.

His location remained unknown Monday evening. There had been several possible sightings of Jordan throughout the day, but none of them resulted in his capture, Burke said.

Police say Jordan is armed and dangerous and should be avoided if seen.

Burke said police had previous contact with Jordan at the Corvallis Road residence during a domestic disturbance in 2020. He said he was not aware of any other contact.

Louis Jackson, 30, of Ward, said he was a friend of Jordan and owned a barber shop where Jordan worked.

Jackson said he showed up at the standoff hoping to help officers. He and another friend offered to speak to Jordan through a speakerphone, hoping to defuse the situation, he said.

“We just wanted to talk to him and let him know that there are people who love him,” Jackson said.

Officers did not appear to take the information Jackson and others were offering seriously, Jackson said. He said they didn’t relay the information to the command line.

Jackson said he thought police could have done more during the confrontation to calm Jordan down.

“I’m not one to badmouth the police, but we have to be transparent and go through the proper channels to stop this stuff from happening,” Jackson said.

Burke said protocol prohibits family or friends from speaking to subjects during impasse situations. He said there was concern that these conversations could further disrupt a topic.

Keith Taylor, assistant assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former assistant commissioner of New York City Corrections and New York Police Department special assignment sergeant in emergency services, also said that it was not good practice to introduce outside players into a critical situation. . He said it could end with negative results.

“In movies, family members interact with people who are held hostage,” Taylor said. “But in reality, you’re not going to have an unknown interaction with the subject. They’re not trained hostage negotiators, and there may be a limited possibility of getting an outcome where you don’t have a loss. of life.”

As a National Guardsman with mental health training, Jackson said he’s been concerned about Jordan’s behavior for the past few weeks. This included social media posts and a recent phone call, Jackson said.

Jackson said Jordan plans to see his adviser in the coming days.

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