By Jamie Miller
Officer Scott Johnson of the Bryant Police Department was honored Thursday night for his heroic[more] efforts on the night of April 2, when he exchanged gunfire with fugitive, Thomas O'Dell.
O'Dell was wanted in Mattoon, Ill., on aggravated robbery and first-degree murder charges in the March 18 death of Benjamin Newton. He was also a suspect on two vehicle thefts that happened prior to April 2.
Officer Johnson was the first on the scene at Fred's in Bryant after responding to a burglar alarm from the store. After exchanging gunfire with O'Dell and being shot multiple times himself, Johnson shot and wounded O'Dell who was later pronounced dead at Saline Memorial Hospital.
The ceremony to honor Officer Johnson went on for well over an hour. Those who lauded his heroics included the police chief from Matoon, Ill., Jeff Branson, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer, State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson, and representatives from the FBI as well as many others.
Officer Johnson was given the Medal of Valor for his actions on that night.