A day that was supposed to be filled with celebration at Missouri Southern State University during the annual Homecoming festivities and football game was instead filled with grief when an assistant football coach was slain less than 12 hours before festivities were to start.
Joplin police said that Derek Moore, 37, Joplin, was killed in a shooting in the parking lot of the Joplin Northstar 14 Theater, less than a mile from the campus.
Police say a suspect, Jeffrey L. Bruner, 39, Joplin, was apprehended about two minutes after the initial 9-1-1 call was made. Prosecutor Dean Dankelson said felony charges of first degree murder and armed criminal action were filed on Saturday. Bruner is being held without bond.
The incident was first reported to Joplin police at 9:50 p.m. Friday, and a Duquesne police officer was on the scene at 9:51 p.m. and took Bruner into custody at 9:52 p.m.
The victim was transported by EMS to a local hospital where he died his injuries.
Police say this was not a random shooting and no one else was hurt. The name of the shooting victim will be released later today.
The Duquesne Police Department, Jasper County Sheriff's Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol all responded to the theatre and assisted with the initial call.
Missouri Southern cancelled Homecoming activities, including a parade and Saturday's football game against Lindenwood University after the shooting.
Cassie Mathes, spokeswoman for the University, said officials were hoping to reschedule the football game, but there were no plans to reschedule the Homecoming parade and other events.
Moore, 37, was in his first year with the Lions as offensive line coach. Moore came to Southern this year after coaching for three seasons at Western Illinois University. He had coached collegiate football for a total of 14 seasons.
He leaves behind a 7-year-old son.
"We are stunned and deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and our prayers are with Derek's family," said MSSU Interim President Alan Marble. "We are ensuring that our employees and students have the emotional support they need during this difficult time."
"Derek was new to Missouri Southern but he was embraced by our campus and community," said Head Football Coach Daryl Daye. "He was a very likeable person who always had a smile on his face and made friends easily with our staff and players. This is an unspeakable loss for the MSSU athletics family."
Officials said grief counselors are available to students and employees.
"The Missouri Southern athletics community is deeply saddened by the events that have occurred," said Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman. "In times like this, our priority is to make sure we are there for our student-athletes, coaches and support staff in whatever way necessary."
Page 2 of 2 - Later on Saturday, the University announced plans to hold a memorial service at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, remembering Moore.
The brief ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall.
The entire Missouri Southern community including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are welcome to attend. Marble, Bruggeman and Daye will speak.