Cassell stated that his office received a call stating a child had been shot in the head. When officers arrived on the scene, the child had been taken by ambulance to a staging area where he was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Little Rock.
According to Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell, a three year old St. Joe boy was injured at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, on South Woolum Road after being shot in the head.
Cassell and his officers went to the area where the shooting took place and made contact with Rowland Kent "Tom" Wyatt, who appeared to be intoxicated. Wyatt was taken to the Searcy County Detention Center for questioning. Witnesses were questioned at the scene.
Cassell remained and held the scene while Searcy County Chief Deputy prepared the warrants necessary to conduct a search of Wyatt's property. During the search, law enforcement officials located several pieces of evidence. Through evidence and statements from Wyatt, law enforcement officials determined that Wyatt was the person who fired the gun.
During an interview with Arkansas State Police CID conducted on August 8, Wyatt stated that he came out of his residence and fired the gun.
The child, along with an older child and two adults, was walking down South Woolum Road near Wyatt's residence when the incident occurred.
Wyatt was arrested and transported to the Searcy County Detention Center. Twentieth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews formally charged Wyatt with four counts of aggravated assault, Class D felony, and one count of battery III, Class misdemeanor. His bond (cash only) was set at $45,000. He is currently being held in the Searcy County Jail.
The Arkansas State Police is assisting in the investigation. Cassell extends his sincere gratitude to the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division for their assistance and swift action in this incident as well as the members of his staff.
Pictured is Wyatt's mug shot and Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell (right) and Searcy County Chief Deputy Dewayne Pierce (left) serving Wyatt with the arrest warrant on August 9.