A Joplin, MO, officer was killed and two other officers were wounded Tuesday afternoon in at least two exchanges of gunfire with a fleeing suspect, who also was killed.
Brian Lewis, assistant police chief, said officers responded at 1:22 p.m. to a report of a disturbance in a shopping center, where they first encountered the suspect and an initial exchange of gunfire took place. Two officers were struck by rounds in that exchange, he told the Joplin Globe.
A pursuit of the suspect ensued, ending several minutes in a second exchange of gunfire in which a third officer was wounded, Lewis said in an impromptu news conference shortly after the shootings.
Police confirmed Tuesday night that one of the officers and the suspect had died, and that one of the other officers was in critical condition and the third in serious but stable condition.
Police confirmed Tuesday night that the suspect stole a patrol car at the scene of the first exchange of gunfire and that he wrecked the car and fled on foot to the location where he and the third officer were shot. They have yet to release any information on how the incident began.
The slain officer has been identified as Corporal Benjamin Cooper. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
The names of the wounded officers have not been released.
Joplin police identified the suspect as Anthony Felix, 40.
Police said Wednesday that Felix had a gun of his own, and then he also took a gun from one of the officers after shooting them. He also continued shooting at the police vehicles that were chasing him, hitting one of the vehicles but missing the officer.