Arkansas Sheriff Tim Helder appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday to discuss a shootout between one of his deputies and a gunman, who Fox reports was a 29-year-old illegal immigrant.
Luis Cobos-Cenobio, the suspect, was being pulled over by County Cpl. Brett Thompson for a routine traffic stop, when he allegedly opened his door and began to open fire. (RELATED: ‘Game On:’ Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan Says The Government Is Prepared To ‘Send Another Message’ To Migrant Caravan)
“It was just a routine patrol stop early on a Sunday afternoon. Our deputy noticed a traffic violation — tried to pull him over. The guy extended the stop, didn’t pull over immediately. When he finally did pull over and stop, our deputy exited his car and about the time his feet hit the ground, the guy threw open his door and started shooting,” Helder said.
Helder praised Thompson’s quick thinking and said his fast reactions probably saved his own life. He also said it’s rare for a shooter to be that aggressive during a fight.
“Our deputy reacted so quickly. Fortunately, the first shot missed him, but his actions actually saved his life,” he said.
“He was able to take cover. Return fire and then tactically be able to keep the car between himself and the bad guy. You can see it through the video how aggressive this person was. It wasn’t a normal shooting. Normally these shootings take place so the bad guy can get space between he and officer and then they can flee the scene. But you see this guy leave his vehicle and come after the deputy. So it was very unnerving to say the least.”
Host Ainsley Earhardt asked for more information on the suspect, but Helder could only confirm that he’d been involved with the police over a drug-related offense prior to the shooting.
“I can tell you that — our encounters with him in past, I think, may have been a drug-related offense … Other than that, I don’t have much information on him,” he said.
After Cenobio escaped, Helder said he continued to engage in a gun battle with police and fired another 40 rounds of ammunition.
“The actual encounter with Cpl. Thompson lasted about 30 seconds — actually, it was about 53 seconds. Whenever he finally left scene, he had a passenger in the car that he dumped out — a girlfriend. And then he left,” Helder continued.
“He was encountered about 25, 30 minutes later by an area police agency. A pursuit took place, which traveled through two major cities … and during that pursuit there was probably another 40 rounds exchanged between the bad guy and law enforcement.”
Cenobio is being held on a $500,000 bond and had a detainer placed on him by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to Fox News.
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