PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. (KARK/CNN) - At least five people lost fingers the night of July 4 in what has been deemed a “fireworks war” in Arkansas, according to the sheriff’s office.
Authorities with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office say a group of people shot fireworks at each other, deputies and their patrol cars and even ambulances coming to aid the injured in a “fireworks war” on the Fourth of July.
"We've never experienced something to this scale,” said Lt. Cody Burk with the sheriff’s office.
At least five people suffered hand injuries, some of which were described as severe. Burk says commercial-grade fireworks were being shot at deputies while they were helping the injured.
"People were coming up to us with missing fingers and hands blown off. When we were trying to put tourniquets on someone that had missing fingers, they were throwing fireworks,” Burk said.
Two deputies suffered minor injuries from fireworks during the incident.
Ultimately, 12 people were arrested. They face varying charges, including fleeing, aggravated assault, drug possession and assault on a police officer.
Locals say many of those causing trouble were teenagers not from the community.
"You could see it was brewing up to be something like never before – very loud, powerful explosions,” said Dowell Evans, an area minister. "It’s disheartening for sure.”