Family of woman killed in officer-involved shooting in Christian County grieves

Family of woman killed in officer-involved shooting in Christian County grieves
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Josh and Leia McDermott, along with their daughter Cassandra Townsend, are mourning after their adopted daughter Donna Bailey died during an officer-involved shooting in Ozark.

They’ve been looking for answers, and now they’re speaking out. After making arrangements for her funeral and setting up a memorial for her at the scene where she died, they told KY3 they were hungry for answers.

One of their favorite memories is Christmas. They would all wear onesies. And now it’s just that, a memory. One they won’t have again with Donna.

“It’s mentally exhausting for us to think,” said Donna’s adopted father, Josh McDermott. “Could it have been this? Could it have been that? Was she already gone before? We batted the ideas back and forth.”

The family is hungry for information. Meantime, The Greene County sheriff and the Sheriff’s Critical Incident Team say they’re doing their best to get to the bottom of what happened. In a conversation with KY3, the Christian County Coroner’s Office said the autopsy has been finished. Now they’re waiting for reports to come back before releasing any additional information.

No matter what the investigation finds, Donna never had it easy. Her family said she showed up with no shoelaces and a head full of lice. They adopted her anyway at 13. They thought they were saving her, but they say she kept them.

“She just had so much love,” said Leia McDermott, “You know, when we took her at 13, I never thought that, you know, the life that she had, that we could give her the love in the family that she had always wanted. And she gave us more than I think we did her.”

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