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Little Rock police chief on leave after shooting at suspect

Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey
Michael Hibblen
Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey, seen here in 2019, opened fire on a suspect while on patrol on New Year's Eve.

The police chief in Little Rock has been placed on paid leave after shooting at a woman who allegedly shot another woman on New Year’s Eve, the city’s mayor said Saturday.

Police Chief Keith Humphrey is on leave following the shooting outside a convenience store and Arkansas State Police are investigating, according to a statement from Mayor Frank Scott Jr.

“As is customary practice in an officer-involved shooting, he has been placed on administrative leave,” Scott said. “This is an unprecedented situation because it involves our chief of police.”

Humphrey had stopped after seeing a fight among a crowd in the parking lot and was approaching the group when Taz Hayes, 29, shot and critically wounded Kelecia Mayo, 22, state police said.

Humphrey then opened fire, but did not strike Hayes, who was later arrested, according to state police.

Hayes is now jailed on a battery charge. Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Mayo was hospitalized in critical condition, state police said Saturday.

Scott said Humphrey was on patrol following his announcement earlier Friday that all command staff would join in patrolling the city on New Year’s Eve.

Scott said Assistant Chief Crystal Haskins is now acting chief of police.

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