Arkansas State Police are investigating the death of a Lawrence County woman who had reportedly fired on deputies early Saturday morning.
The body of Jennifer Shirley, 44, of 244 County Road 429, near Walnut Ridge, was found in her home after emergency responders with Lawrence County deputies and police officers entered the residence to extinguish a fire. Her body was transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the cause of death.
According to state police, at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Lawrence County deputies and local police officers entered Shirley’s home to check on her wellbeing, and found her holding a gun.
“Shirley had agreed to set the gun aside when one law enforcement [officer] fired a less than lethal device at the woman who then grabbed the gun and began shooting,” a news release from state police reads. “Law enforcement officers who report they did not return fire at Shirley escaped the house uninjured.”
A law enforcement perimeter was set-up around the residence, according to state police, which also reports that in the hours that followed, an Arkansas State Trooper established a line of communication with Shirley.
“The communications continued until shortly after 7 a.m. when smoke was seen coming from inside the house,” according to the state police.