Prairie Grove student, police officer exchange gunfire

Thursday, May 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Prairie Grove-AP) -- Police say a Prairie Grove seventh-grader who left his school after an altercation today exchanged gunfire with a city police officer after being tracked down in a hay field north of the campus.

The 12-year-old boy, armed with a shotgun, was shot in the abdomen during a ten-round exchange with the police officer assigned to the rural school district in northwestern Arkansas. Sergeant Greg Lovett was shot in the face, back and chest but did not require surgery.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Both the boy and the officer were talking in ambulances on the way to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

Authorities believe the boy obtained the gun after leaving school.

The Prairie Grove school system has about 1,300 students and serves a mostly rural community in the western fringe of the Ozark Mountains. The district is 200 miles west of Jonesboro, where four students and a teacher were killed in a campus shooting two years ago.

The student and the officer each fired five times, the Morning News of Northwest Arkansas at Springdale reported on its World Wide Web site.

Classes continued after the incident. The office of Superintendent Tom Louks did not know whether students on the district's three-school campus knew of the shootings.

The News on Six will have the latest on this story at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM