JONESBORO – Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said Thursday that a Jonesboro police officer was justified when he shot and killed a man during an altercation in a Jonesboro trailer park last month. Cpl. John Eidson fatally shot Michael Ware, 35, of Keiser on Jan. 9 at the Meadow View Mobile Home Park after Ware fired upon the officer. “Eidson is a hero, as his quick instinct eliminated the danger of Mr. Ware to his fellow officers and seven innocent bystanders, including four children,” Ellington said in a news release. In a four-page letter to Lt. Brant Tosh, commander of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division in Jonesboro, Ellington detailed events leading to the shooting. An investigation of a stolen car led officers to the mobile-home park, Ellington wrote in his letter. As patrol officer Scott Byrd drove to the park, he found a man outside with a gunshot wound in his chest. Another person told Byrd the shot man lived in Trailer 33, Ellington wrote. Eidson knocked on the mobile home’s door and saw Ware “with an agitated face” looking at him through a window. Ware opened the door, Ellington wrote, and fired at Eidson. Eidson returned fire, and Ware ran back inside the home. Ellington said three men, two women and four children were inside when the shooting occurred. One woman was slightly injured, he wrote. “Ware indicated that he planned to run from law enforcement, that he had a gun and ‘[law enforcement] are going to have to take me dead,'” Ellington wrote. Eidson was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation by Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates. He returned to duty Monday, said Police Department spokesman Doug Formon. “The matter is considered justified and closed with no further need for review,” Ellington wrote.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR) – Saturday, February 1, 2014