LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NewsNation Now) — An Arkansas police officer was hospitalized in stable condition Sunday after being shot during a confrontation at a McDonald’s restaurant with a man who was kidnapping a 14-year-old North Carolina girl, authorities said.
The suspect died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after fleeing from authorities, according to the Arkansas State Police. The girl was found safe.
Two Lonoke, Arkansas, police officers confronted the driver of an SUV parked at the fast-food restaurant Saturday night after the vehicle was connected to a North Carolina child abduction case. Lonoke is located about 27 miles east of Little Rock.
The driver, later identified as William Robert Ice, 38, of Jackson Center, Pennsylvania, began shooting at the officers as he exited the SUV. One officer was hit while the other one, who was uninjured, returned gunfire as Ice entered the vehicle again and fled, according to state police.
An Arkansas State Trooper spotted the SUV and pursued it until the vehicle became disabled in a snowbank. The 14-year-old girl fled from the vehicle and was secured by a state trooper.
Inside the SUV, a trooper found Ice critically injured from what preliminarily appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ice later died at a Little Rock hospital.
According to a news release from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation into the missing 14-year-old began on Feb. 11. Davidson County deputies say it was discovered the teen was using her school-issued computer to communicate with a person, later identified as Ice, using multiple online platforms.
Investigators say Ice was also talking to several other girls in Alamance County, North Carolina.
Ice was also wanted by Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities in connection with other child predator cases, according to Arkansas State Police (ASP).
According to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, investigators determined Ice took the 14-year-old girl from her home on Feb. 11. ASP said the girl will return to North Carolina later Sunday.
ASP said they are investigating the officer-involved shooting, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina and Pennsylvania State Police are involved in the child abduction investigation.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate KARK contributed to this report.