Stone County, Mo. deputy shoots suspect after pursuit in Branson West; suspect wanted for shooting
BRANSON WEST, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating an officer-involved shooting involving a Stone County deputy.
The shooting happened in Branson West near the King Food Saver grocery store around 11:30 a.m. Monday. The suspect survived the shooting, but is listed in critical condition. The deputy did not suffer any injuries.
Sheriff Doug Rader says deputies responded to a 911 call of a man’s truck stolen at a business near Chickory Lane south of Branson West. When deputies arrived, they found a man, 60, with a gunshot wound. He is listed in critical condition.
Around 11:20 a.m., deputies say they received a 911 call the suspect was at a campground near State Highway DD and Talking Rocks Road. A pursuit then started. The driver then hit spike strips near the entrance to Kings Food Saver. When the suspect exited the vehicle, investigators say he reached for a weapon. The deputy then fired, striking the suspect in the lower abdomen.
Investigators have not released the name of the suspect.
Shoppers outside the grocery store said they were taken by surprise when the incident occurred.
“My heart was racing a mile a minute,” shopper Julie Patterson said. “You know I’m not used to seeing something like that. Never experienced something like that in real life.”
Some of the stores employees came to work right as the chase ended, confused what was happening.
”I could see the ambulance and stuff here and I could see they had, I thought was a wreck, and in an instance it turned out to be something more than that,” King Food Saver Manager Sean Runion said.
Many were in shock after the crash and subsequent shooting.
”Everybody kind of just froze,” Patterson said. Especially when we heard the accident happen. And then once the shot was fired, I don’t think anybody moved at all.”
Patterson said she then worried about getting out of the way.
”If there was a bunch of stray bullets going through the parking lot I certainly didn’t want to be in the midst of that,” she said. “I ran into the store because I didn’t know what was going to happen next.”
Grocery store employees and customers say they are baffled an incident like this took place in their town.
”You don’t typically see in that situation and you don’t never hear about it, but I was actually kind of shocked that it happened in a small town like this,” Runion said.
Patterson said it is usually a pretty quiet area.
“We have a lot of retirees and people who vacation here and go to the lake,” she said. “It’s a small town and we just don’t see that very often.”
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