Ark. Game & Fish officer shot while patrolling park

The Pine Bluff Commercial

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.— An Arkansas Game & Fish Commission wildlife officer and a man believed to be hunting illegally at a city park were injured in a gunfight Saturday morning.

Authorities say Officer Matt Flowers was on patrol near the northwest corner of Burns Park around 9:30 a.m. when he spotted Phillip Kelly, wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a gun and a knife.

As Flowers approached Kelly, shots were exchanged and both men were struck. Game & Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens says a bullet struck Flowers' bulletproof vest, while Kelly suffered an unknown number of gunshot wounds.

After other officers arrived at the scene, Kelly was located at the nearby home of a relative and was taken by ambulance to a St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, authorities said, while Flowers was also taken to a hospital.

Authorities said Kelly would be charged with attempted capital murder.

Stephens said Flowers had been released from the hospital after suffering only bruises. Stephens did not know Kelly's condition.

Officer Carmen Green of the North Little Rock Police Department said that agency was also investigating the shooting.

Authorities initially named the injured officer as Matt Bird, but the commission issued a statement Sunday identifying him as Matt Flowers. Stephens said Flowers has been a wildlife officer for the last five years.

Copyright 2007 The Pine Bluff Commercial

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