Arkansas prosecutor declines to bring charges in ATF agent's fatal shooting of airport administrator

Prosecuting attorney Will Jones said that the shooting was justified out of self-defense, because the agent “had a reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to defend himself."

Published: June 14, 2024 5:22pm

Will Jones, the prosecuting attorney investigating the death of airport administrator Bryan Malinowski, announced Friday that he would not bring charges against an Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent who fired the killing shot.

Malinowski was the local administrator of an airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was killed in March after federal agents showed up to execute a search warrant in his home, leading to a standoff that resulted in Malinowski being killed. Federal investigators alleged Malinowski violated federal gun laws by operating as a firearm seller without the proper Federal Firearms License.

Jones said that the shooting was justified out of self-defense, because the agent “had a reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to defend himself," according to The Arkansas Times.

Arkansas attorney Bud Cummins, who represents Malinowski's family, slammed the decision and claimed that 28 seconds was not a "reasonable" amount of time for Malinowski to answer the door and admit the ATF agents voluntarily. Jones's final report included a timeline of the day's interaction, which showed there were just 28 seconds between the time the agents knocked on the door and the time they used a battering ram to break the door down.

"Legally, law enforcement must give the person inside a reasonable amount of time to come to the door to admit them voluntarily before forcibly entering," Cummins said in a statement shared with Just The News. "A search warrant is not supposed to necessarily be a license for a home invasion, especially during an investigation of such a low-level violation with such little risk involved in the search."

Cummins acknowledged Jones's decision, but stated that he was not through with trying to get justice for Malinowski. 

"The Pulaski County Prosecutor focused his decision on any law enforcement officer’s right under state law to use deadly force in self-defense," Cummins said. "The Prosecutor had his duty to perform, and he did it as God showed him the light to see that duty. But this is far from over."

The agent that shot Malinowski has not been publicly identified. But the agent fired three rounds after Malinowski began firing at the agent, according to Jones' timeline.

Misty Severi is an evening news reporter for Just the News. You can follow her on X for more coverage.

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