The man who died from a bullet or bullets fired by Greene County sheriff's deputies on Sunday evening was Joshua D. Ford, 33, of Springfield. Sheriff Jim Arnott said late Monday afternoon that investigators have not figured out why Ford was outside a rural home south of Bois D'Arc before the homeowner called 9-1-1.
At a news conference, Arnott did not say whether investigators found that Ford had a gun. Investigators say Ford told the man who lives at 1759 S. Farm Road 45, just north of Interstate 44, that he had a gun after the homeowner confronted Ford. That's when the homeowner went inside his home and called 9-1-1 about the intruder around 5:20 p.m.
When three deputies arrived at the home, they say Ford ran into a wooded area along the dead-end county road next to Interstate 44. They tried to get him to come out peaceably. That's when the deputies said Ford "engaged" with them, and wouldn't drop what the deputies thought was a weapon wrapped in a piece of clothing in his hands.
The deputies fired at Ford when they say he charged at them. It's not yet clear how many shots were fired and how many deputies discharged their weapons. Ford died several hours later at a hospital in Springfield. An autopsy in Columbia by the Greene County medical examiner will be part of the investigation.
The deputies are on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is a routine step in most law enforcement agencies after the use of deadly force. Dash cameras from two patrol cars recorded what took place, and Arnott said Sunday that the video appears to corroborate what the deputies said.
Arnott has not said whether he asked an outside agency like the Missouri State Highway Patrol to take the lead or assist with the investigation. That's another routine step in many law enforcement departments after the use of deadly force.
A news release from Arnott's office says Ford had "numerous contacts with law enforcement." Arnott said Ford lived in Springfield, as of Sunday. A search of online court records shows Joshua D. Ford, 33, had several addresses over the last few years, including in Niangua, Conway, Macon, and Paris, Mo. His crimes appear to be traffic offenses, misdemeanors and minor felonies involving crimes against property.