November 14, 2023
Arkansas State Police (ASP) charged Michael Lee Fairburn, 61, today with Attempted Capital Murder and first-degree Attempted Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in connection with an officer-involved shooting that occurred on October 25, 2023.
Fairburn, who was also charged with Possession of Drugs (Methamphetamine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Weapon, and habitual offender violations, was released from UAMS, where he had been receiving medical care, into Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office custody to be transported to Fort Smith.
On October 25, at 8:22 p.m., Fort Smith Police Department (FSPD) officers attempted to serve a felony warrant on Fairburn, an Indiana fugitive and violent sex offender. Fairburn brandished a knife as officers tried to take him into custody, and FSPD officers discharged their service firearms.
No officers were seriously injured in the incident.
In a letter dated November 8, 2023, Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue said his office had completed a review of the incident, finding that the shooting was justified under Arkansas law and was the result of “deadly force being reasonably and justifiably applied.”
An investigation by ASP’s Criminal Investigation Division is ongoing. In accordance with FSPD protocols, officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a separate internal investigation being conducted by FSPD.