An Arkansas police officer who told a colleague he would “shoot through the door” any protesters who came to his home has been charged with killing a fellow officer who knocked on his door last month, court records show.
Calvin Nicholas “Nick” Salyers, 33, was charged with manslaughter in the June 3 shooting death of 36-year-old Scott Hutton, who was shot through Salyers’ front door.
Salyers turned himself into state troopers Thursday, according to the Arkansas State Police. His bail was set at $15,000.
Alexander Police Officer Calvin Salyers has been arrested by Arkansas State Police and charged with felony manslaughter in the June 3rd shooting death of Alexander Police Officer Scott Hutton (pictured). pic.twitter.com/EmthXapNke
— Chris May (@KATVChrisMay) July 9, 2020
Saline County deputies responded to Salyers’ home around 7:12 p.m. on June 3, where they found the mortally wounded Hutton lying on the ground outside the residence, state police officials said last month.
Hutton was taken to a hospital in Little Rock, where doctors pronounced him dead.
The following day, the Alexander Police Department described the shooting as “accidental.”
According to an arrest affidavit, Salyers had previously threatened to shoot protesters through his door in late May or early June, when protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers began to grow across the country.
Salyers, who has been an Alexander police officer since 2017, is accused of making the comments to Alexander police training officer Sgt. Matt Wharton, according to Special Agent Ryan Jacks with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division.
“Sgt. Wharton told me that he instructed Officer Salyers that he could not do that because it was reckless and negligent,” Jacks wrote in the arrest affidavit. “Wharton stated that they could not shoot anyone without identifying them first and identify(ing) that there was a threat.”
The document accuses Salyers of acting recklessly when he shot Hutton.
According to Jacks, Hutton had driven to Salyers’ address to pick up a patrol vehicle that was parked in a metal building next to Salyers’ home. He attempted to call and text his cellphone, but Salyers didn’t answer.
“Are you awake?” Hutton texted Salyers, according to the affidavit.
Hutton pulled into Salyers’ driveway, climbed up to the porch and knocked on the door. Salyers and his girlfriend, Ashlee Cummings, were inside, lying together on the couch and watching a movie, Jacks wrote.
“When they heard the knock, Salyers told Cummings that he would see who it was and grabbed his Glock .40-caliber handgun and went to the door,” the affidavit states.
Salyers told investigators he looked through the peephole and saw a figure standing on the porch. The person wore a dark shirt and had a gun on his hip, according to the document.
“Salyers stated that he transferred his weapon from his right hand into his left hand and reached for the door knob and, as he opened the door, the gun went off, firing a round through the front door,” Jacks wrote.
Evidence showed that Salyers had his Glock pressed against the door when he fired it.