STILWELL – An Adair County deputy is under investigation for shooting a man who showed up at his residence in Washington County, Arkansas, where his small children were present.
Deputy Travis Adams has been placed on administrative leave after the incident Saturday, Sept. 3, pending the outcome of the probe.
Washington County deputies were dispatched to a shooting and found Justin Hellyer shot in the abdomen twice. He was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition.
Adair County Sheriff Jason Ritchie said he is "cooperating fully" and trusts Washington County to do a thorough investigation.
“Travis was at his place of residence in Washington County and Justin just showed up; I believe he is the stepson of the land owner. Travis was in the process of packing up his belongings to move, and his small children were inside the home,” said Ritchie.
Adams had asked Hellyer to leave the property several times, Ritchie said.
A video recorded by an unnamed witness shows Hellyer grabbing Adams by the neck, and an altercation occurred before shots were fired.
“Travis knows him as someone he’s dealt with as an inmate incarcerated in the Adair County Jail. What normal person would walk outside to talk to a man who, he knows him as someone he’s had to deal with as an inmate who has had multiple arrests?” Ritchie said.
Adams has been a jailer for a couple of years and a reserve officer with a good record with Adair County Sheriff’s Department, Ritchie said.
“He’s in the National Guard and now in CLEET. He’s never shown any aggression and has zero writeups with our organization,” Ritchie said.