WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - A man was sentenced to 152 years in prison for shooting at a West Memphis Police Officer on April 19, 2017.
Jaylen Farmer, 21, is charged with one count of attempted capital murder, 16 counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, one count of fleeing, and 18 counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
A jury found Farmer guilty on all counts resulting in the 152-year sentence.
Farmer was charged after he opened fire on police using an AK-47, striking the police cruiser, and missing the officer by only a foot.
The officer was attempting to pull over the vehicle Farmer was in, when he opened fire on the officer. The shooting happened near South 2nd Street and Polk Avenue, near an ambulance base, a women's shelter, and a residential neighborhood.
Police said it's fortunate no innocent bystanders or officers were hurt or killed in the shooting.
West Memphis Police Captain Joe Baker released the following statement in reference to the case:
Dash camera video shows the moments Farmer pulled out an AK-47 and fired at the police officer.
The West Memphis police officer turned on his lights to pull over a car owned by a known gang member for a seat belt violation. The video shows Farmer, a passenger in the car, Farmer, is seen leaning out of the window firing an AK-47.
One bullet went through the windshield and narrowly missed the officer. Another bullet lodged chest-level into the passenger seat, which was empty because an officer called out sick that night.
"If we hadn't had an officer call off, there would have been an actual officer in that seat rather than, thank god, the bullet," Captain Baker said.
The shooter kept firing an AK-47 for several blocks as the car drove away.
The three suspects in the car crashed and escaped. Investigators used surveillance video from a gas station nearby to identify them and bring them into custody days later.
The driver of the car is a juvenile and has charges pending. A passenger in the front seat has not been charged. Farmer was the third person in the car.
"It makes me sick to watch," Captain Baker said.
Police and the Crittenden County Prosecutors' Office are praising the jury for the long sentence and said it will send a message.
"We're tired of the gang violence," Crittenden County prosecutor Thomas Young said. "We're not going to tolerate it anymore. Our community, more importantly, won't tolerate it. Hopefully, this will embolden some people afraid of the gangs to testify against them."