EVERTON, Ark. -- A convicted killer is in custody after Mayor Bill Gerdes was shot here on Wednesday evening. Justin Bates held officers at bay during a seven-hour standoff.
Boone County Sheriff Danny Hickman says Gerdes (JERR' - duss) was shot in the back and left hand about 6 p.m. on the front porch of Bates' father's house in the 5400 block of East Street in the southern part of this small town of about 180. An air ambulance took him to a hospital in Springfield for surgery. The department said Thursday that he was in critical condition.
Hickman says Bates shot Gerdes shortly after Gerdes arrived. He said Bates had called Gerdes several times and invited him to come to the house. Hickman said Bates and Gerdes were longtime friends.
After the shooting, Bates barricaded himself inside the house. Law enforcement officers in the standoff, besides the sheriff's department, included Harrison police and Arkansas state police officers. A SWAT team from Little Rock arrested the man.