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

Bryan Malinowski, 53, executive director of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, was injured after 6 a.m. Tuesday.


The executive director of Bill and Hillary Clinton National 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrived.

He "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 hospital, police said.

Malinowski's older brother, Matthew Malinowski, 55 of Pennsylvania, was at his bedside Wednesday and said he didn't know whether his brother would survive.

“We don’t know if he’s going to make it in the next 24 hours," Matthew Malinowski told NBC News by phone in his first public comments. "He was shot in the head."

Matthew Malinowski said his brother was on life support and doctors haven't performed surgery "because they don’t think he’s going to make it."

He said Bryan Malinowski collected guns and other weapons, as well as coins, lived in an upper-middle class suburb and earned $253,000 a year.

"He has so much to lose," the brother said.

A public records search of Bryan Malinowski showed no arrests or other run-ins with police.

Shea De Bruyn, a neighbor, told NBC 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.

Matthew Malinowski said his brother met with Arkansas senators last week in Washington for official airport business.

“That tells you the circles he’s running in,” the older brother said.

The state police Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the case.

"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 in El Paso, Texas, and Fort Lauderdale Florida.

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

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

In 2012, the airport was renamed for former President Bill Clinton, an Arkansas native and former governor, and his wife, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.