Arkansas airport exec wounded in gunfight with federal agents at home, likely won't survive, brother says

The executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Arkansas, who was wounded during a firefight at his home Tuesday morning, allegedly shot at federal agents as they were attempting to serve a search warrant, authorities said.

Bryan Malinowski, 53, was struck during the gunfire exchange just after 6 a.m., as agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrived, the agency said.

“The subject of the investigation was injured with gunshot wounds andtreated on scene by paramedics before being transported to a local hospital,” the ATF said in a statement.

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Bryan Malinowski, the executive director at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Arkansas, was shot Tuesday as federal agents were serving a search warrant. (Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport)

The wounded agent had non-life-threatening injuries, the ATF said.

On Wednesday, Malinowski’s older brother, Matthew Malinowski, 55, told Fox News Digital that his brother was shot in the head and that doctors didn’t expect him to survive. He was unconscious as of Wednesday, he said.

The ATF declined to say what the search warrant was in relation to, and Matthew Malinowski, a Pennsylvania resident, said he hadn’t been told anything about the circumstances of the case. He noted that his brother was an avid collector of firearms.

“It’s all speculation at this point,” he said. “I got a feeling that he bought something he shouldn’t have. That’s the only thing I can think of.”

The shooting came as a shock to the elder Malinowski, who said his brother was in Washington D.C., a few days ago meeting with Arkansas senators.

“That’s the circle he ran in,” he said.

The ATF declined to say what the search warrant for Bryan Malinowski’s West Little Rock home was in relation to. (Fox News)

Bryan Malinowski also owned five properties, made somewhere between $270,000 to $280,000 annually, and was responsible for around 2,000 employees under him at the airport in Little Rock, his brother said.

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“When you’re in that position, life is great. Why would you screw it up with a small infraction?” Matthew Malinowski said. “He always kept his nose clean. He had no enemies that I know of.”

Bryan Malinowski’s mother, Barbara Haigh, expressed grief at the situation.

“That’s my baby. That’s one of my babies,” she said.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the case.

Shane Carter, public affairs director for the Clinton National Airport, previously told Fox News Digital that Bryan Malinowski is the airport’s executive director. He declined to comment further.

Hours after the shooting, however, Airport Commission Chairman Bill Walker named Tom Clarke as acting airport executive director.

Arkansas State Police are investigating a shooting incident at an airport executive’s home that involved federal agents.  (Arkansas State Police)

“Today’s incident saddens us, and we pray for everyone involved,” he said Tuesday. “As the chairman of the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission, I have named Tom Clarke, the airport’s deputy executive director, as acting executive director. The airport’s day-to-day operations continue as normal.”

Bryan Malinowski joined Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in 2008 as director of Properties, Planning and Development and was promoted to deputy director in 2009, according to his biography on the airport website.He became executive director in 2019, according to a profile on the airport’s website.

He brought more than 30 years of airport leadership experience when he was hired, holding positions with the FortLauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, El Paso International Airport andLehigh Valley International Airport.

Shea De Bruyn, who lives next to Bryan Malinowski, told FOX 16 that she woke up to gunfire across the street.

“I heard about five or six, like, loud bangs,” De Bruyn said. “My heart was racing and the dogs were barking. I’m just really curious as to what was going on just a few houses down.”

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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