On Wednesday evening, June 15, Everton Mayor Bill Gerdes was shot in the back and left hand at a residence in Everton. Mayor Gerdes was flown to St. John's Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri, where he is listed in critical condition. I spoke with Mrs. Gerdes at noon today and Bill’s condition has not changed.
The Sheriff's Department responded to a call of a shooting in Everton last night at a little after 6:00 p.m. The first deputy on the scene, Craig Loggins, was able to get Mayor Gerdes in his patrol unit and remove him safely from that scene.
The suspect, Justin N. Bates, age 35, was armed with what appeared to be a 30-30 rifle and held law enforcement to an approximately 7 hour standoff.
When I arrived on the scene I requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police Special Response Team. They arrived and the standoff ended with Bates being taken into custody without any other injuries. Officers were able to talk to and maintain contact with Bates during the standoff.
Mike Pippin, Assistant Area Manager of Arkansas State Probation and Parole stated that Bates was just paroled from prison in September of 2010. He had been sentenced in approximately 2000 for Murder – 2nd Degree.
This investigation is ongoing, but Bates will receive formal charges of Attempted Capital Murder and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Bond will be set at $1,000,000.00.