Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas
End of Watch: Friday, May 15, 2015
Tour of Duty: 11 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: May 15, 2015
Weapon Used: Handgun; .22 caliber
Suspect Info: Shot and wounded
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Larry Jones
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
301 Porter Industrial Road
Clarksville, AR 72830
Phone: (479) 754-2200
Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith was shot and killed as he and other deputies searched for a burglary suspect in the area of County Road 1723 at approximately 2:30 am.
He located the subject hiding in a wooded area and pursued him on foot. During the pursuit the man opened fire with a .22 caliber handgun, striking Deputy Smith in the neck. Despite the wound, Deputy Smith returned fire and wounded the subject. The man was then taken into custody.
Deputy Smith was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
Deputy Smith was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and five children.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) – A reserve deputy was killed early Friday morning after confronting a burglary suspect, according to Arkansas State Police.
According to a press release shared with THV11, 42-year-old Sonny Smith was an 11-year veteran of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and a nuclear security officer at Arkansas Nuclear One for six years.
He was shot and killed as he and other sheriff’s deputies were searching for a burglary suspect 15 miles east of Clarksville.
State Police said that at around 1 a.m. Friday, the sheriff’s department received a call about a suspected burglar in the area of County Road 1723. As deputies searched the area, reserve deputy Sonny Smith confronted an individual identified as Fred Kauffeld who allegedly shot Smith.
Deputy Smith is said to have returned gunfire, and Kauffeld was taken into custody. Smith was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Tristan Teague with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said Smith was a father of five, and his son was graduating Friday night from Arkansas Tech.
Students were asked to wear ribbons in honor of Deputy Smith.
"As the son walked across the stage, everyone gave him a standing ovation, and all of the officers saluted him and everyone clapped until he got to his seat," said Holly Haynes.
Fellow officers from Russellville and Clarksville police departments were also at the ceremony to show their support for Smith’s wife and children.
Fred Kauffeld is reportedly still in custody.
This statement was made on the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page around 8 p.m. Friday:
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is saddened by the loss of our brother, Deputy Sonny Smith. Deputy Smith was a friend who gave his time willingly to serve and protect the citizens of Johnson County. As we deeply mourn the loss of one of our own we ask you, our community, to wrap your arms around your law enforcement professionals and the Smith family in the coming days. Please say a prayer for us as we struggle to understand this loss.
A statement from Entergy said:
"The Entergy family is mourning the loss of our good friend and valued co-worker, Sonny Smith. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."