Airport executive shot in firefight with federal agents at his home in Arkansas

The executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot Tuesday as federal agents arrived at his home to serve a search warrant, police said.

Bryan Malinowski, 53, the airport’s executive director, was injured during a firefight after 6 a.m. as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived.

He was “was injured with gunshot wounds and treated on scene by paramedics before being transported to a local hospital,” Arkansas State Police said in a statement, adding that his condition was unknown as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.


One ATF agent received what police called a “non-life-threatening gunshot wound” and was also taken to a local hospital, police said.

Shea De Bruyn, a neighbor, told NBC News’ affiliate KARK of Little Rock that she was woken by five or six loud bangs.

“My heart was racing and the dogs were barking.” she said. “I’m just really curious as to what was going on just a few houses down.”

Neighbors also told KARK that on Tuesday evening they saw guns and ammunition being loaded onto a trailer, while firefighters carried a circular saw, crowbars and other tools into the house.

The state police Criminal Investigation Division is now investigating the incident.

“An investigative case file will be presented to the prosecuting attorney, who will determine whether the use of deadly force was consistent with Arkansas law,” the police statement said.

Shane Carter, public affairs director for the Clinton National Airport, confirmed to KARK that Malinowski is the executive director for the airport, but offered no further comment.

Malinowski’s profile on the airport’s website said he began working there in 2008 and became executive director in 2019. The profile said he has more than 30 years’ experience, with previous roles ion El Paso and Fort Lauderdale.

“Today’s incident saddens us, and we pray for everyone involved,” Little Rock Airport Commission Chairman Bill Walker said in a statement.

Walker said Tom Clarke, the deputy executive director, would take over as acting executive director and the airport remained open as normal.

The airport was renamed in honor of Arkansas native and former state governor Bill Clinton, and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after the airport’s municipal commission voted for the change in 2012.

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