Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Officer Shot and Killed in Line of Duty in Arkansas
EDM Friday Briefing: Officer Shot and Killed in Line of Duty in Arkansas

EDM Friday Briefing: Officer Shot and Killed in Line of Duty in Arkansas


Emergency and disaster management briefing for July 19, 2019: A police officer was shot and wounded in Birmingham; the WHO has declared a PHEIC for the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the DRC; residents in Fort Lauderdale are still under a boil water alert after a major water main break; an alleged arsonist set fire to an animation company in Tokyo, killing at least 33; an Arkansas sheriff's deputy died after being shot multiple times when responding to a call; monsoon rains in Bangladesh caused major flooding after a river breached embankments; experts are urging residents to include their property deeds in their hurricane emergency supply kit; and in central, western, and southern India, monsoon rains needed for crop growth have been down by at least 20 percent so far this season.

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1) A police officer responding to an alleged armed robbery was shot and wounded in Alabama on Wednesday evening. Officer Cullen Stafford, 36 -- a nine-year veteran of the Birmingham Police Department -- was shot multiple times when a suspect fleeing a crime scene pulled a gun, turned, and opened fire on the responding officers. Cullen was rushed to a nearby hospital while backup was called in. The alleged suspect engaged police officers in gunfire three more times before he was fatally shot by police.

2) The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the ongoing Ebola outbreak that began in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The decision to issue the declaration was partly due to increased violence against health workers and the spread of the disease to Goma, a large, international city in the DRC. The declaration will likely release additional funding and resources, including supplies and personnel, to help fight the outbreak.

3) A contractor doing work near the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida struck a 42-inch water pipe that carries water to the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant. A state of emergency was declared after water services were cut off to nearly a quarter of a million people. City workers were able to patch the pipe on Thursday, but long term repairs are required. A boil water alert remains in place for those affected by the break.

4) Thirty-three people are dead and another 36 were taken to the hospital -- including 10 who were in critical condition -- after an alleged arsonist set fire to an animation studio in Tokyo, Japan, with claims they had plagiarized him. The suspect, who suffered burns when starting the fire, used gasoline to soak the area before allegedly yelling "Die!" and setting the studio on fire. The building had no sprinklers and no indoor fire hydrants, although they were not required by current building codes.

5) Stone County Sheriff's Department deputy Sergeant Mike Stephen, 56, was shot and killed in the line of duty in Arkansas on Thursday while responding to a domestic disturbance call. The deputy responded to a call located in a rural area about 77 miles north of Little Rock. He was speaking to a woman outside when gunfire erupted. A male suspect inside the home was also shot and killed, and the woman was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

6) Heavy monsoon rains have inundated Bangladesh and caused the Jamuna River to break through several embankments Wednesday night. The breaches inundated at least 40 villages, displacing about 200,000 people as a result of the flooding. The death toll due to flooding from monsoon rains in India has reached 97, including 67 in Bihar, one of the poorest states in the country.

7) Hurricane season is in full swing, but the worst months of the season have yet to come so residents still have time to prepare. In addition to emergency supplies, experts are urging homeowners to be sure they include the deed to their property in their hurricane readiness kit. Proof of home ownership (clear title) is typically required to access aid following a disaster, including insurance and all federal and state assistance. Ensuring property owners have a clear title prior to a disaster is their key to accessing assistance when disasters do strike.

8) Summer monsoon rains have turned patchy over the central, western and southern parts of India, threatening crop plantings. According to reports, rainfall in the three regions is about 20 percent below average, with some crops in the central part only receiving 68 percent of the average rainfall that is normal for this time of year. Rainfall has wreaked havoc in northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh, where at least 153 people have been killed as a result of flooding from heavy monsoon rains.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.