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October 17, 2014

  UPDATE - OCTOBER 31, 2014

  The Arkansas State Police was notified this afternoon (Friday, October 31, 2014) that John T. Kolata, 75, of Searcy County, had died.

  Kolata was the gunman involved in the October 17th hostage and shooting incident inside the Serenity Farm Bakery located in Leslie.

  Kolata had remained hospitalized at a Little Rock hospital since being transported by air ambulance following the shooting.  His body is being transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for examination and autopsy.

  A Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy was wounded by Kolata in an exchange of gunfire as the deputy and an Arkansas State Trooper entered the bakery.

  The Arkansas State Police investigation of the shooting is continuing and will be submitted to the Searcy County prosecuting attorney to determine if deadly force used by law enforcement officers was consistent with Arkansas laws.


  John T. Kolata, 75, of Searcy County is hospitalized at a Little Rock hospital along with a Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy.  Both were wounded during an exchange of gunfire inside the Serenity Farm Bread store located in Leslie earlier today (Friday, October 17, 2014).

  The store is located at U.S. Highway 65 approximately one quarter mile south of State Highway 66.

  About 11:15 AM Searcy County sheriff’s department deputies and a State Trooper responded to the store following reports of an armed man holding two hostages inside the store.

  Kolata reportedly began shooting as a deputy entered the store.  The deputy and a State Trooper returned fire striking Kolata.

  The wound to the deputy is not believed to be life threatening.  Kolata was in surgery at UAMS late this afternoon.

  The State Trooper was not injured.

  State Police Special Agents are leading the criminal investigation which will be submitted to the local prosecuting attorney for review.

  Questions relating to the administrative status or identification of the Searcy County Deputy should be directed to the sheriff’s department.

  The Arkansas State Police Office of Professional Standards is reviewing the shooting incident and in accordance with State Police policy the State Trooper is on paid administrative leave.  The name of the State Trooper will be released following an initial assessment of the OPS review.


(Initial news release_12:37 PM_Friday, October 17, 2014)

Arkansas State Troopers are on the scene of a shooting incident near Leslie in Searcy County.

 Two people have been wounded; one of them a sheriff’s deputy and both are being airlifted from the scene following what had been initially reported as a hostage situation.

  Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation will conduct an investigation of the incident.

  Later today an updated news release will be made to provide additional information.