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May 12, 2015

  Earlier today a request for assistance from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was received by the Arkansas State Police.

  The initial information from sheriff’s deputies reported Donald C. Thomas Jr., 47, of the Clearwater Lake area east of Sheridan had contacted local authorities stating he intended to set fire to a home at 762 West Clearwater Lake Drive.

  As sheriff’s deputies and local firemen arrived at the home they found the structure burning.  A short time later sheriff’s deputies stated at least one gun shot was fired at them, reportedly by Thomas.

  The Arkansas State Police SWAT and Crisis Response Teams were dispatched to the area.  By mid-afternoon negotiations were established with Thomas inside a nearby out-building on the residential property.  Thomas refused to surrender to state or local authorities.

  At approximately 5 PM today the State Police SWAT team fired tear gas into the out building causing Thomas to exit the building and to be taken into custody.

  An investigation of the incident is continuing tonight and Thomas is currently held at the Grant County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault.  The continuing investigation may result in additional charges.