LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas State Police have identified the man who died and the woman who was shot in a Thursday morning incident in which Stone County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Stephen was killed.
Stephen, along with two other Stone County deputies, had been dispatched about 8:40 a.m. Thursday to a residence at 2021 Flag Road in Leslie to perform a welfare check stemming from an alleged disturbance.
Shortly after talking with a woman outside the house, gunfire erupted and Stephen was killed at the scene, State Police said. Another man also died in the incident and the woman was taken to a local hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
State Police on Friday identified the man involved as 39-year-old Samuel Fullerton and the woman as 32-year-old Erika Johnson. Both were residents of the house.
Special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were continuing their work Friday investigating the shooting incident. Upon completion of their investigation the case file will be presented to the Stone County prosecuting attorney for consideration with respect to the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.
Stephen’s body was released Friday morning from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory following an autopsy. Forensic evidence recovered at the scene has also been submitted to the crime lab for analysis.
“While the physical examination portion of the autopsy on Deputy Stephen has been completed, there is no official manner and cause of death at this time,” ASP spokesman Bill Sadler said early Friday afternoon. “The physical autopsy exam on Samuel Fullerton has not been completed. The rulings that will offer insight to the manner and cause of both individuals will come once the analysis of the physical exams are complete and compared with findings from toxicology and other forensic evidence still being examined."
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has ordered the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff in Stephen’s honor through the day of his interment.