Police response to shooting captured on audio
Police officers took cover behind vehicles and shields after an armed attacker opened fired from inside a Springfield, Missouri, convenience store during a shooting Sunday night that killed four people, including one of the responding officers, according to audio recordings of police radio traffic.
“Advise everybody arriving on the scene, the shooter is shooting out the window,” one officer can be heard saying on the audio captured by the online website Broadcastify.com.
“The officer shot from inside the store outside. Take cover behind vehicles.”
The recordings capture police urgently seeking to stop the shooter and get to the victims. The carnage unfolded over a period of about 15 minutes, starting with reports of shots being fired from a moving car and ending with several people killed in a convenience store. The shooting ended around 11:40 p.m. inside the Kum & Go at 2885 E. Chestnut Expressway.
“In essence, we had a roving active shooter moving from the south side of the city up — we think up Ingram Mill and over to Highway 65 and then to Chestnut where it ended at the Kum & Go,” Williams said at a morning press conference.
In addition to the dead, another person in the store and a second officer were wounded in the shooting. The suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
“Both of these officers showed significant bravery, were heroic in their actions,” Police Chief Paul Williams said at a Monday morning press conference.
Williams identified the officer killed as Christopher Walsh, 32, a U.S. Army veteran who was active in the Army Reserves and had been with the department for more than three years. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Officer Josiah Overton, two-year veteran with the department, was the officer injured.
The three victims killed in the shooting, all men, have been identified as Troy D. Rapp, 57, from Springfield, who was employed by Kum & Go; Shannon R. Perkins, 46, from Springfield, who was employed by WCA Waste Corp., and Matthew J. Hicks-Morris, 22 from Springfield, who was a customer in the store.
A surviving victim remains in critical condition at a hospital.
The suspect was identified as Joaquin S. Roman, 31, from Springfield.
DETAILS OF THE SHOOTING
The first report of shooting came about 11:25 p.m. near Battlefield Road and South Lone Pine Avenue. A dispatcher told officers that the gunfire came from a car driving through the area.
“As far as we know, nothing was hit and no one injured at this time — that we are aware of,” the dispatcher said.
Another vehicle was thought to be involved and people inside the two cars may have been shooting at each other, according to the radio traffic.
While officers were on the way, police received multiple calls reporting other shootings.
“We are just receiving now multiple calls for shots in the area of 2120 S. Ingram Mill — the Woodgate Apartments — as well,” the dispatcher said. “Had several shots that just occurred.”
Other officers headed that way. Moments later, the dispatcher said additional calls came in report
ing shots fired near Sunshine Street and U.S. 65 highway.
“The vehicle was shooting out of a window going northbound 65 and exited at Sunshine for a small, dark-colored two-door car,” the dispatcher said. “I believe that’s going to be our suspect vehicle.”
The direction the car turned was not known.
‘SHOTS ARE BEING FIRED RIGHT NOW’
About 11:40 p.m., another call came in reporting that a vehicle had crashed at the Kum & Go convenience store and shots were being fired.
“Shots are being fired right now,” a dispatcher said. “Sounds like someone has been shot. We are starting medical that way.”
Officers Overton and Walsh were the first to arrive. They were shot at immediately.
“The male is inside Kum & Go and shots fired by him,” one of the officers said.
Seconds later, one of the officers said he had been shot. Emergency tones can then be heard on the audio and a dispatcher checks on the status of the officer.
“Shots fired at 2885 E. Chestnut Expressway, Kum & Go, one officer shot,” a dispatcher said.
Other police units responded while dispatchers advised that multiple ambulances were being sent to the scene.
“Get an entry team started now,” one officer said. “Shields and everything now.”
As officers were arriving, police wanted to know if the shooter had been contained.
“No,” was the answer that came back.
“The shooter’s still inside — it’s still active,” the officer said. “We need somebody in the back. We got an officer down.”
Two officers went to the back door, but couldn’t get in because the door was locked.
“Advise everybody arriving on the scene the shooter is shooting out the window,” an officer said. “The officer shot from inside the store outside. Take cover behind vehicles.”
Soon, an officer said an entry needed to be made with officers carrying shields.
“I’m ready to go,” an officer responded. Another responded that she and another officer were on the west side with a shield.
One officer told dispatchers that he had the wounded officer and was taking him to a hospital.
Moments later a dispatcher said they were still on the line with someone in the store.
“They are saying that there are two people inside the store shot,” the dispatcher said.
Even though police didn’t know where the shooter was, they entered the store.
“Shooter is possibly down,” an officer advised.
“Shooter down,” she confirmed moments later. “We are still clearing the building.”
In a statement, Chief Williams praised Walsh.
“Chris died a hero, rushing in without regard to his own safety to protect members of his community,” Williams said. “His courageous actions serve as an example to us all.”
In a statement released on Twitter, Kum & Go said the company was grateful for the courage of the first responders and pledged to support the investigation.
“There are no words to express the shock and sorrow man of us are feeling,” the company said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and their friends and families.”