3 dead, including former West Memphis police officer, in rural Arkansas

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State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said early Thursday afternoon that the suspect was inside a rural Arkansas and that negotiators were trying to reach the person.

Arkansas' elected officials are saluting fallen Yell County Deputy Lieutenant, Kevin C. Mainhart, who was killed during a traffic stop on Thursday.

"This deputy checked in for duty this morning not even realizing that this would be his last call", Sadler said.

Mainhart was a five-year member of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, authorities said. He was en route to a disturbance call on the 12000 block of Gum Springs Road. Their causes of death have not been released.

At a press conference at approximately 3:45 p.m. today, authorities identified James Bowden, 32, as the suspect in the deaths of three people. A civilian saw that the deputy had been shot and notified police.

After police found Mainhart's body, they found the bodies of two unidentified females at the nearby home where the disturbance had been reported. According to Bill Sadler with the Arkansas State Police, the situation developed into a "tactical operation", as Bowden held at least one hostage. Their identities are not being released at this time.

Sadler said investigators hadn't yet examined the bodies along Gum Springs Road, because of the suspect's proximity.

Sadler says once officers arrived at the location of the initial disturbance call, they found two more people dead. "We are in prayer for his family". Sadler said the bodies could not be identified because they are in close proximity to the residence where the suspect is now hiding.

The life of Lt. Mainhart being remembered at a fallen officers memorial day service at the Capitol earlier today.

The shooting occurred on Highway 27, where multiple agencies are now working the scene.

Stay with THV11 and THV11.com for more details in this developing story.

No other information has been released at this time.

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