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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

ASP identifies suspect killed after high-speed pursuit from Benton to Little Rock on Monday

The Arkansas State Police has named Aaron Travis Watson, 35, of Hot Springs as the suspect killed in an officer-involved shooting that occurred the afternoon of Monday, January 1, 2024.

ASP’s Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the incident. Watson died after leading law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit from Benton to Little Rock.  

At approximately 2:04 p.m., the Saline County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) notified ASP that they were in pursuit of a white 1996 BMW driven by Watson, traveling on the Interstate 30 service road near the 128-mile marker in Benton.  

An ASP Trooper ended the pursuit by employing a tactical vehicle intervention maneuver on Interstate 30 near the University Avenue exit. Watson fired on law enforcement officers, who returned fire, striking the suspect. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

ASP Troopers and Benton Police officers involved in the incident were not injured.

Watson was wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and was driving a vehicle with fictitious plates, according to an earlier release issued Monday.

An investigative case file will be presented to the prosecuting attorney, who will determine whether the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas law. 

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