Calvin Salyers, a 33-year-old officer in Alexander, surrendered Wednesday on a manslaughter charge in the June 3 shooting that killed Officer Scott Hutton, 36, state police said.
Hutton, who went to his colleague’s home to pick a patrol car, knocked on the officer’s door and an armed Salyers looked through a peephole to find a dark figure with a firearm, state police Special Agent Ryan Jacks wrote in court documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Salyers told investigators his firearm then accidentally went off as he transferred the weapon from one hand to the other as he reached for the door handle, Jacks said.
Hutton, who was shot in the chest, later died at a Little Rock hospital, state police said in June.
“All I seen was a gun, it was an accidental discharge,” Salyers said during a 911 call, according to an affidavit.
Investigators found contact residue around the bullet hole in Salyers’ door, suggesting his weapon was pressed against it as he fired, according to Jacks’ account.
The fatal shooting occurred just days after Salyers told investigators he would “shoot through the door” if any protesters showed up at his home in the aftermath of George Floyd’s police-custody death on May 25 in Minneapolis, Jacks wrote.
A training sergeant reprimanded Salyers for the comment, warning that such conduct would be “reckless and negligent” since officers need to identify a person as a threat first before shooting, an Alexander police spokeswoman told the Democrat-Gazette.
Any officer can get additional firearm training if needed, spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica Burnett told the newspaper.
“Pretty much any extra training that the officers want, they’re able to go to,” Burnett said. “We don’t turn down for any training.”
Salyers, a cop in Alexander since 2017, was released from jail Wednesday after posting $15,000 bond.
With Post wires