Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Police said an investigation was underway after three people were killed following an hours-long standoff in Arkansas.
The standoff began Tuesday afternoon when officers found two women dead in the front year of a Helena-West Helena house in Phillips County, some 120 miles east of Little Rock, Arkansas State Police said in a Wednesday statement.
Police officers were responding to reports of a shooting when Christina Fulmer, 36, and Deanna Thomas Banks, 28, were found dead, and as they approached the house, Raymond Lewis Williams, Jr., 37, exited "brandishing" a rifle, forcing the officers to take cover, the statement said.
Williams then barricaded himself in the house, prompting the officers to call in Arkansas State Police SWAT for help.
"Communications with Williams was unsuccessful through the evening, and after multiple attempts to communicate, tear gas was deployed into the home," police said. "Soon after, Williams appeared on the front porch of the residence with a rifle and fired at officers."
State troopers returned fire, killing Williams, police said.
The cause of death for all three people is under investigation by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, it said.
Officers who returned fire were placed on paid administrative leave, according to the state's policy, the Arkansas police department said.