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2nd Joplin Officer Shot By Gunman ‘Will Not Survive,’ Police Chief Says

Joplin, MO – The second of three officers who were shot during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect on Tuesday afternoon will not survive his wounds, according to his department.

Joplin Police Department (JPD) Chief Sloan Rowland confirmed on Thursday night that JPD Officer Jake Reed “will not recover” from his injuries, and that his family said he will be donating his organs, KMBC reported.

“We’re so proud, so thankful and forever in debt for his service to this community,” Chief Rowland said. “Jake is an outstanding young man.”

JPD Corporal Benjamin Cooper and JPD Officer Rick Hirshey were also shot during the attack.

Cpl. Cooper succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday.

Officer Hirshey remained hospitalized in serious but stable condition on Thursday, Chief Rowland told KMBC.

The suspect shot him in the face, according to the chief.

Officer Reed, a five-year veteran of the JPD, was among the first officers to encounter 40-year-old Anthony Felix while investigating a report of a disturbance in the area of 4th and Rangeline Road near the Northpark Crossing shopping center at approximately 1:22 p.m. on March 8, KMBC reported.

When Officer Reed and Cpl. Cooper attempted to take Felix into custody, he opened fire, wounding both of the officers, Joplin Assistant Police Chief Brian Lewis said, according to KOAM.

The suspect then jumped behind the wheel of a patrol car and fled the scene, according to KOAM.

Police pursued the gunman to the area of Connecticut Avenue and 9th Street, where he crashed the stolen patrol vehicle and took off on foot.

Witness Kim Jenkins, who lives on the corner of Carolina and Connecticut Avenues, said she looked outside after hearing sirens in her neighborhood and spotted a man with a gun hiding behind her neighbor’s fence across the street, The Joplin Globe reported.

When an officer in a patrol vehicle came flying down the road a moment later, Jenkins stepped outside her front door and tried to wave down the officer to show him the suspect’s hiding place, but she was unsure if he saw her or not.

The suspect then ran over towards a nearby apartment building just as the officer spun around and headed back up the street, Jenkins told The Joplin Globe.

The officer pulled to a stop directly in front of a van the gunman was using as cover and immediately came under fire, she explained.

“I don’t think he even had time to get out [of his car] when the guy started shooting,” Jenkins told The Joplin Globe.

The gunman appeared to shoot right through the windshield of the cruiser, she said.

Chief Rowland said the officer who was shot through the windshield was Officer Hirshey, KMBC reported.

Officer Hirshey was using his patrol vehicle to stop Felix from being able to take off in a van he saw him attempting to steal, according to the chief.

Felix responded by shooting him in the face, Chief Rowland said.

Officer Hirshey served the JPD for over 20 years before retiring a while back, KMBC reported.

Three months into his retirement, he rejoined the police force and continued serving his community, Chief Rowland said.

The JPD announced on Wednesday that JPD Captain William Davis arrived in the area of Connecticut Avenue and Ninth Street moments before the third officer was shot, The Joplin Globe reported.

Capt. Davis, a 15-year JPD veteran, heroically left cover and exposed himself in order to fatally shoot the gunman, Chief Rowland told KMBC.

“If not for Capt. Davis’ actions, additional officers and citizens could have been killed,” the chief said.

“This is a tragic day for the Joplin Police Department and the city of Joplin as a whole,” Chief Rowland told reporters on Wednesday. “We are a very large extended family at the Joplin police department and today we’re hurting and we’re feeling that throughout the community.”

“This was a violent and unwarranted attack on our officers and is indicative of the rise in violence against law enforcement we are witnessing nationwide,” he continued. “It has to stop.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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