Cottonwood police officer shot, suspect arrested

Police officials in Cottonwood say a police officer is expected to be released from the hospital soon following a shootout with a suspect on Wednesday night.

According to the Cottonwood Police Department, officers responded at 7:45 p.m. for reports of a man who was charging at vehicles that were passing by him while holding what appeared to be a flagpole. That object, according to police, later turned out to be a shotgun that was disguised by some type of makeshift flag.

The suspect was identified as 57-year-old Jeffrey John Thomas, who police officials say was involved in an incident Wednesday morning, where he was seen threatening others with physical violence and demonstrating erratic behavior.

After officers arrived at the scene, there was an exchange of gunfire, and one officer, identified as Matt Strickland, was hit in the arm. Strickland is a six-year veteran of the department.

The suspect was taken into custody following the shooting. Thomas is being held on a $500,000 bond, and is accused of a number of offenses, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, and firearms-related offenses.