Neighbors react to situation leading to police shooting in west Springfield

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A suspect accused of firing shots at an officer, then holding a man at gunpoint Sunday afternoon is now hospitalized after he was shot by police in west Springfield.

The suspect has been sent to a hospital with unknown injuries, while one officer was also sent to a hospital as a precaution. It’s not believed that any officers suffered life-threatening injuries.

People living in a nearby neighborhood, James Fuller, and Ryon Whatley, said police flooded the streets Sunday afternoon.

“They had the whole street and everything just all blockaded,” said Fuller.

“Heard a bunch of gunshots, and I’ve seen 20 to 30 cops out in people’s yards,” said Whatley.

The investigation started shortly after a situation at 1 p.m. Sunday. Police say an officer approached a suspect at the Kum & Go gas station on South Kansas Expressway and College Street. Then, the suspect fired shots at the officer and took off toward Lexington Avenue.

Shortly after that, police say a resident in the 1800 block of West Elm Street called officers to inform them a man broke into her home and was holding her husband at gunpoint. After that call, at least 25 police and SWAT team cars responded to the situation around South Lexington Street.

Lt. Steve Schwind said the Springfield Police Department tried to apprehend the man before he forced his way into a home.

“After the suspect shot at the officer, he fled on foot,” said Schwind. “That’s when we started to initiate our perimeter to keep him contained.”

Lt. Schwind said an officer shot the suspect.

“The suspect he was shot by one of the officers,” said Schwind. “That’s an ongoing investigation. [The suspect] was taken to the hospital.”

Fuller said he witnessed the shots.

“Next thing you know, three or four minutes later, there was a big ole big shot,” said Fuller. “My main concern was for the husband, wife and kid.”

After the shots, Whatley said he feared for his neighbor’s lives.

“I was kind of worried about like what was going to happen, like the officers might get killed in the in a situation or the people inside,” said Whatley. “So it seemed to me like someone was going to die.”

Everyone in this neighborhood is hoping this is just a random incident.

“Other than speeding up and down the road, it’s pretty quiet. But now, just my guess is just random,” said Fuller. “It could happen anytime.”

Police say the family held at gunpoint by the suspect is safe. It’s unknown if the family members held at gunpoint knew the suspect.

No names have been released in the investigation. An investigation is underway into the shots fired by the suspect and an officer.

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