In Memory of Sergeant Michael David Stephen, Sr.
On Thursday, July 18, 2019, Sergeant Michael David Stephen, Sr., passed away from a gunshot wound in the line of duty. Sergeant Stephen had served as a law enforcement officer and first responder for his entire adult life. Sgt. Stephen was 56 years old.
It was approximately 9:00 am in the 2000 block of Flag Road when Sergeant Mike Stephen responded to a call into the dispatch center regarding a domestic incident. Sgt. Stephen was there to help protect someone that could be in grave danger.
Many departments have policies that, in the event of a call regarding a domestic violence incident, multiple officers should meet outside the residence and address the scene as a group. This is because domestic violence calls are the most-deadly calls that an officer can answer.
After arriving on the scene, Sgt. Stephen was having a conversation in the front yard with a female resident of the home. While they were talking, another subject approached and opened fire. The shooter hit both Sgt. Stephen and the woman.
The woman survived the ordeal, but sadly, Sgt. Stephen was found deceased by the responding deputies. Stephen gave his life to serve and protect his community.
Sergeant Stephen began civil service with the military and was a U.S. Army veteran. Stephen had served with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years. Before joining the Stone County department, Stephen had also served as chief of the Pineville Fire Department. He began his career in law enforcement as a corrections officer with the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
Stone County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas
Stephen was a member of the Stone County Sheriff’s Office. Stone County, Arkansas, is located in the Ozark Mountains. The area is rugged and rocky, so the county’s name came from the description of its terrain. The Stone County Sheriff’s Office is located in Mountain View, the county seat and the most populous city in the county. The county has only one other incorporated city, Fifty-Six.
Members of patrol for the Stone County Sheriff’s Office have some unique duties. The county is the site of numerous unincorporated communities and several ghost towns. The desolate area creates a challenge for the small sheriff’s office to cover and keep residents safe.
The Stone County Sheriff’s Office handles law enforcement for the entire county. The two incorporated cities have their own police departments, but SCSO still manages many services in those communities. SCSO provides patrol, SWAT, investigations, fingerprinting, court security, civil service, and the management of the Stone County Jail.
Sergeant Michael David Stephen, Sr., leaves behind his wife, extended family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. All joined together along with hundreds of residents and area law enforcement to celebrate the life lived by Sgt. Mike Stephen.
Thin Blue Line USA posted news of the loss on their Facebook page. “Sergeant Michael Stephen was a U.S. Army veteran and a committed law enforcement officer for over 20 years. It is with great sadness to share that Sergeant Stephen was shot and killed yesterday morning while responding to a domestic incident at a home in Leslie, Arkansas. Thin Blue Line USA sends our thoughts and prayers to the Stephen family and the Stone County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time.”
Stone County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Zach Alexander was devastated by the news of the loss of Sgt. Stephen. “There’s so much you can say about Mike Stephen. You can’t sum it up. He was always one to lead from the front. He pushed his guys to be better people.”