By Arkansas State Police
The Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Department has requested the Arkansas State Police investigate two shooting incidents involving sheriff’s deputies dispatched to investigate reports of an armed domestic disturbance. The separate incidents occurred Saturday, June 11, in the Perla community and in a south Malvern neighborhood.
Deputies were dispatched about 6:13 p.m. to 990 Perla Road, the home of a man reported to have been involved in an earlier fight with Stephen Silvas, 48, of Malvern.
Arriving in Perla, deputies witnessed a vehicle being driven by Silvas and initiated a traffic stop. The deputies had been told Silvas was armed with a “silver handgun”. During the traffic stop, Silvas reportedly refused to comply with orders from the deputies to exit the car leading one deputy to deploy a TASER striking the driver. As Silvas began to remove the electric charged prongs embedded in his body, deputies observed a handgun slip from his lap. Silvas then picked up the pistol causing the deputies to back away and Silva fleeing the traffic stop. One deputy then fired his gun at Silvas’ vehicle. Silvas managed to escape from the deputies who had re-engaged and were attempting to overtake the suspect vehicle.
A short time later the sheriff’s deputies discovered Silvas near 317 Cloud Road. With one hand behind his back, Silvas was walking toward the deputies who ordered him to show his hands. As Silvas continued to move closer he was ordered a second time to show his hands and not take another step toward the deputies. Again, ignoring the orders, Silvas moved closer leading one of the deputies to fire his service weapon and wounding Silvas.
Both sheriff’s deputies began to render emergency medical care to Silvas, who was then transported to a local hospital and later transferred to a Hot Springs hospital to undergo surgery where he remains hospitalized.
Special Agents of the state police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing their investigation today.
The state police investigation will be submitted to the Hot Spring County prosecuting attorney who will determine whether the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.