ATF agent injured in shootout at home of Arkansas airport executive director

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – Federal agents said they were involved in a shootout Tuesday morning while attempting to serve a search warrant in west Little Rock at the home of the head of the Clinton National Airport.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, agents were attempting to serve a search warrant at a home just after 6 a.m.

Authorities said someone inside the home, who agents said was the subject of the investigation, fired gunshots at the ATF agents, who returned fire.

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Federal officials said one ATF agent was shot in the exchange and suffered a non-life-threatening wound. The agent was taken to a local hospital.

The agents said they hit the shooter, identified by Arkansas State Police officials as 53-year-old Bryan Malinowski. ASP officials said Malinowski was treated by medical personnel at the scene before being taken to a nearby hospital. As of 12:30 p.m. his condition was not known.

Shane Carter, public affairs director for the Clinton National Airport, confirmed that Malinowski is the executive director for the airport.

According to his biography on the LIT website, Malinowski has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, serving in operational leadership roles at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, El Paso International Airport and Lehigh Valley International Airport.

Malinowski joined the management team at Clinton National in 2008 as director of properties, planning and development before being promoted to deputy director of the airport a year later. He took over as executive director in 2019.

Carter said that, other than confirming Malinowski’s employment, the airport has no further comments on Tuesday’s incident.

Just after 4 p.m., Little Rock Airport Commission Chairman Bill Walker shared a statement naming the acting executive director for the airport.

"Today's incident saddens us, and we pray for everyone involved," the statement read. "As the chairman of the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, I have named Tom Clarke, the airport's deputy executive director, as acting executive director. The airport's day-to-day operations continue as normal."

In addition to the ATF and ASP agents, teams from the Little Rock Police Department responded to the scene to assist with the investigation into this shooting.

ASP officials said they will be the lead investigating agency in this case, working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

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