UPDATE: An injured suspect has emerged from the Joplin motel room where an officer was shot Wednesday afternoon and a standoff took place for about three hours.
The suspect, identified as E.F. Fitchpatrick, 43, of St. Louis, was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital Joplin.
“He was bleeding,” Capt. Rusty Rives of the Joplin Police Department said. “We do not know yet what caused that.”
Nolan Murray, a Jasper County deputy assigned to the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, was shot about 4 p.m. while serving a search warrant on Fitchpatrick’s room at the motel with other narcotics officers. Rives said the shooting remains under investigation and charges are likely to be filed Thursday.
The search warrant was being served on a second-floor room on the south side of the motel. The room’s door opens onto an exterior walkway. The shot was fired out a window of the room and struck Murray in his upper body. He was wearing a protective vest at the time but required surgery at the hospital, according to Rives.
The section of the motel where the standoff took place was cleared of guests shortly after the deputy was shot.
Rives said Fitchpatrick finally emerged from the room about 6:40 p.m. while a special weapons and tactics team was preparing to breach the door with the aid of an explosive charge. He came out a window. Police blew the door open about 10 minutes later to enter and make certain there were no other occupants inside.
Rives did not have any more information Wednesday night concerning the medical condition of Murray, who has been a deputy with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department for five years.
A police special weapons and tactics team are dealing with an active shooter holed up in a motel on Joplin’s south side after shooting a local narcotics enforcement officer.
Police Capt. Rusty Rives said the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team was serving a warrant at the Econo Lodge at 3510 S. Range Line Road about 4 p.m. when a Jasper County sheriff’s deputy assigned to the team was shot.
“We’ve had an officer shot and he’s been taken to the hospital,” Rives said at 4:10 p.m. “The guy is still in the room and, at the moment, they’ve called a SWAT operation to get him out of that room.”
Rives did not know the condition of the officer who was shot. His name was being withheld while the agencies involved are attempting to contact his family.
Sheriff’s deputies from both Jasper and Newton counties and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers are on the scene in addition to city police.
Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe.
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