Police investigating motive in shooting deaths of Springfield police officer, 3 others
Traffic was back to normal on Chestnut Expressway on Tuesday but drivers couldn't help but notice the crime scene tape surrounding the Kum and Go near Prince Lane where five people died on Sunday night.
Springfield police officer Christopher Walsh, who'd been with the department for three-and-a-half years, was killed and fellow officer Josiah Overton has been released from the hospital after both were shot by 31 year-old Joaquin Roman, who would then turn the gun on himself.
Three other civilians were killed.
They include 57 year-old Troy Rapp, who worked at the Kum and Go; Shannon Perkins, a 46-year-old who worked for WCA Waste Corporation; and Matthew Hicks-Morris, a 22-year-old who was a customer in the store.
Another civilian shot in the store is still in the hospital listed in critical condition at last report.
On Tuesday at the Kum and Go store an American flag had been placed next to the curb and outside the displays of windshield washer fluid, firewood and DVD rentals left the impression of business as usual.
But the bullet holes in the window where the shooter had fired on police officers, killing Walsh and injuring Overton, were stark reminders of what happened here.
A side door with shattered glass offered a glimpse into the store where a still-running slush-machine represented an eerie frozen-in-time feeling. And when car traffic was not drowning it out, you could still hear the store's piped-in music that at one point was ironically playing "When I See You Again", a song about about the passing of a loved one.
Inside the police continued to process the scene on Tuesday and said the investigation is still in its early stages with no motive to be determined until they gather all the information. They did say the public should not be concerned and asked that you contact the PD if you have any information.
As all this was going on, another large contingent of law enforcement was standing along downtown streets paying tribute as Walsh's body was transferred by a hearse from the medical examiner's office to the Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.
It was a touching show of brother-and-sisterhood as officers try to deal with their own grief while supporting the family.
"When these types of tragedies happen we try not to focus inwardly as much as outwardly on what we can do for his family," said Brandon Keene, the Treasurer for the Springfield Police Officers' Association. "As far as handling the tragedy later on we have things in place for that as well for our members to help with some of those inward things that are going to be reflective of dealing with grief."
The Springfield Police Department and SPOA have set up a fund to help Walsh's wife and daughter where you can donate by going to spoarelieffund.com.
If you are wishing to donate in-person rather than online, please do not bring monetary donations to the Springfield Police Department. They are asking that you visit Metro Credit Union (Downtown) 447 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65806.
However, due to current public health concerns, it is requested that donations be dropped off at the credit union's drive-thru or overnight drop box.
When donating over $1,000 please provide your legal name and address. Please make checks payable to "SPOA Relief Fund."
"You get into this job primarily to help others who can't help themselves, said Keene. "Officer Walsh is no different. He's a selfless person. A veteran, a father, a husband. He dedicated his life to helping his community and his country. He and officer Overton are heroes of our modern day so to see the community step up and support officer Walsh and his family during this time is nice to see that people have our backs."