Police pursuit that began in Nash ends in shooting

photo by Jesse Evans

A Texas man suspected of leading Texas lawmen on a high-speed pursuit across the state line ended with the man shot by a Hempstead County Deputy as he reportedly charged another deputy with a machete.

At 5:23 a.m. Deputies were dispatched to I-30 to attempt to locate a silver Dodge Ram that was reported to have been pursued into Hempstead by Bowie County Texas Deputies. According to the Nash Police Department, a Nash officer attempted a stop on a silver Dodge Ram truck due to the headlights not being on around the 218 mile marker on I-30 in Texas. Two Bowie County officers reportedly pursued the truck across the state line in Arkansas, through Miller County and into Hempstead County. According to Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton, the Bowie County deputies halted their pursuit around the 21 mile marker and informed Hempstead County the truck, which they said had been traveling in excess off 90 mph during the pursuit was about a mile ahead of their location.

Hope Police officers posted up at the 30 and 31 mile markers, watching for the truck, which they observed headed east. Sheriff Singleton said that at around 5:45 a.m., Hempstead County Deputy Jim Bush reported to dispatch that he located a truck matching the description pulled over on the side of the interstate about ¼ mile from the Nevada County line. Bush was never in active pursuit of the truck, according to the Sheriff. Deputy Bush reportedly attempted to make contact, pulling behind the truck and turning on his unit’s emergency lights. The Sheriff said Deputy Bush reported that the driver, 37-year-old Chase Ray Alford, of Henderson, TX, was outside of the vehicle with what appeared to be a machete in his hands.

Sheriff Singleton said Deputy Manuel Rodriguez arrived on scene to assist Deputy Bush. He said Bush attempted to get Alford to drop the weapon, but that Alford refused and pulled out a smaller knife as well. The Sheriff said that body and vehicle camera footage showed Alford make an aggressive move toward Deputy Rodriguez, at which time Deputy Bush fired three shots, hitting Alford once in the chest and bringing him down.

The Deputies immediately requested EMS and retrieved their trauma kits. Sheriff Singleton said they began rendering first aid to Alford and continued until the crew from Pafford arrived on scene and took over patient care. Hope Police Officers, Nevada County Deputies and an Arkansas State Troopers arrived on scene just following the shooting to assist and secure the scene for Investigators.

Pafford attempted to arrange air transport but all helicopters were grounded due to the weather. Alford was transported by ground to Christus St. Michael in Texarkana with Deputy escort. Sheriff Singleton said Alford is reported to be in the ICU and conscious at this time. He is under guard by Deputies according to the Sheriff.

Sheriff Singleton said that Deputies Bush and Rodriguez have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with policy while the Sheriff’s Office conducts an internal investigation of the incident.

The Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division is handling the criminal investigation, which is ongoing. We will update as further information is made available.

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