The Joplin Police Department says all three officers present during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect last week have been cleared to return to duty.
The shots were fired at a home on West 4th Street on October 23rd.
Police were there seeking a suspect from a shooting at Parr Hill Park the previous day.
Authorities say the suspect fired first and an officer returned fire.
No one was struck and authorities managed to arrest the juvenile suspect.
A Missouri State Highway Patrol investigation determined the officers actions were justified.
Following is a news release from the Joplin Police Department:
Officer Involved Shooting Update
Contact: Captain Trevor Duncan
417-623-3131 ext 600
All three officers involved in the shooting incident on 10/23/2017 have been cleared to return to duty. An internal investigation conducted by our department found no policy violations in their actions. A Missouri State Highway Patrol Investigation determined the officer firing his gun was justified and that the officers didn't commit any violation of law.
The officers involved in the shooting arrest Monday night are identified as Corporal Brett Kohler, Detective Seth Lugenbell and Officer Joel Taber. All three officers were attempting to arrest the suspect and were on scene at the time the suspect fired shots. Detective Seth Lugenbell returned fire. The suspect that was taken into custody by these officers is a 16-year-old male who was wanted for a shooting the day prior. These officers are still on administrative leave, per our department policy.
Officers and detectives from our department went to 1414 West 5th at 5:43pm on 10/23/17 in an attempt to contact the juvenile suspect from yesterday's shooting at Parr Hill Park. One of our officers was driving down Maiden Lane and saw the suspect in the front yard of the residence and called for assistance to arrest him as he turned around and went back.
While officers were on scene, the juvenile suspect ran on foot to the south behind the house. As the suspect was running south with officers chasing him he fired shots. One of our officers returned fire. The suspect was taken into custody to the south near Highland Dairy without further incident. Neither he nor the officers were injured. There were concerns that there was another person in the house that could cause harm due to the suspect's actions yesterday and today, and the SWAT team was activated. Shortly after 8pm, it was determined nobody else was in the house.
The juvenile suspect that was taken into custody tonight after the shooting is the same juvenile suspect we have been seeking since yesterday for the Shooting at Parr Hill Park. He was arrested on a juvenile warrant that was issued for him for yesterday's shooting and transported to the juvenile detention facility. Further charges will be pending. We are not seeking any other suspects involved in either incident.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded at our request to investigate the officer involved shooting. Per department policy, three officers who were on scene are being placed on administrative leave.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol also worked a crash at 7th and Range Line where one of our K9 officers was struck while responding emergency to the shooting incident. The officer wasn't injured and the K9 sustained minor injuries. Thank you to the Jasper County and Newton County Sheriff's Departments for covering regular calls in our city during this incident.