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Police: Cedarville man shot in both hands after lunging at officers with knife

After being shot in one hand, police say the suspect switched the knife to his other hand and continued to lunge at officers.

CEDARVILLE, Ark. — On Monday, Sept. 20, afternoon, police received a call from someone at Cedarville Schools saying there was a trespasser on school grounds.

According to Crawford County Sheriff James Damonte, when Cedarville Police Chief Ken Howard arrived, a male and female took off towards a home up the road from the school.

Investigators said the male, later identified as Joshua Rapier, became combative with officers and pulled out a knife with a five to six-inch blade. By that time, a Crawford County deputy was also on the scene trying to help the Cedarville officer.

According to Damonte, investigators also had knowledge from Rapier's family members that he was adamant about not going back to a correctional facility and would try to instigate "suicide by cop."

Damonte said the deputy and Chief Howard were yelling for Rapier to put the knife down. 

The Crawford County Deputy was behind Rapier and deployed his taser, which investigators said did not affect him. Investigators also said Rapier was yelling things like, "shoot me."

Credit: KFSM
Joshua Rapier

Investigators said Chief Howard was facing the suspect, but while yelling for him to put the knife down, he couldn't go any further away from the suspect because he ran into a large tree behind him. 

Damonte said the deputy was directly behind Rapier when he started lunging towards officers with the knife.

At this time, Chief Howard fired two shots at Rapier, hitting him once in the hand. 

After being shot in one hand, Rapier switched the knife to his other hand and continued to lunge at officers.

Chief Howard shot again, hitting Rapier in the other hand.

Rapier was taken to a local hospital, treated and booked into the Crawford County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, 2nd-degree battery, fleeing, trespassing, failure to appear and a  parole violation.

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