Mena – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office asked the Criminal Investigation Division of the Arkansas State Police to investigate an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Saturday, April 22, 2023, on 1317 Highway 71 South, Mena.
Officers with Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Mena Police Department were attempting to locate Joseph Gonzalez, 27, of Cove, who was wanted for outstanding warrants out of Texas. A deputy encountered Gonzalez in the parking lot of a Mena restaurant, and attempted to take Gonzalez into custody. Gonzalez attempted to flee and struck a deputy with his vehicle. A Mena Police officer fired two rounds into the vehicle as Gonzalez continued to flee. Less than a mile away, Gonzalez lost control of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The deputy struck during the encounter was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.
An investigative case file will be presented to the Polk County prosecuting attorney, who will determine whether the use of deadly force by officers was consistent with Arkansas law.