updated 3/9/2009 8:42:25 PM ET 2009-03-10T00:42:25

Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a man who walked into a county jail wielding a hatchet and knives early Monday and demanded the inmates be released, authorities said.

Christopher Allen Anderson, 23, of Mena, entered the Polk County jail shortly after midnight and demanded a female jailer leave her post, Polk County Sheriff Mike Oglesby said. Nearby deputies rushed in and urged Anderson to drop his weapons, Oglesby said. Anderson then asked the female jailer to release the inmates.

"He didn't ask for any specific person," Oglesby told The Associated Press. "He just told my female jailer that she needed to leave and they needed to let the people out of jail."

Anderson refused to drop his weapons, so deputies called for a Mena police officer, who used a Taser on Anderson twice without a visible response, the sheriff said.

"He come back up again like it never phased him," Oglesby said. "He was raring back to throw (the hatchet) at the officers and that's when the guys shot him."

Oglesby said he didn't know how many times deputies shot Anderson. His body was taken to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for an autopsy.

The sheriff said family members told deputies after the shooting that Anderson suffered from a mental illness.

The three deputies who fired on Anderson were placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure.

The Arkansas State Police is investigating the shooting.

A Mena telephone number registered in the Anderson family's name rang unanswered Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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