The Jasper County Prosecutor's office charges John Blanton with first degree assault on law enforcement, armed criminal action, first degree tampering with a motor vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property and felony resisting arrest. Blanton also had numerous warrants out for his arrest at the time of the incident.
On Friday, November 2nd, 2018 shortly after 1:00 p.m., the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team contacted Joplin police about a stolen vehicle they saw at 1832 South Maiden Lane (Kum N Go) in Joplin. They described it as a spray painted white Dodge Pickup and that the plates showed it to be a vehicle reported stolen to the Joplin Police Department. ODET requested an officer to respond and assist.
Authorities say the stolen vehicle left behind the store, drove west of Price Cutter and pulled southbound across 20th Street and into the neighborhoods to the south. The Joplin Police Officer, driving a fully marked police car, got behind the vehicle. Police say a moment later, the officer stated the vehicle was pulling into the north parking lot of Springview Gardens Apartments at 22nd and McCoy.
Captain Duncan says that's when the driver got out of the stolen truck and ran on foot heading south, down a corridor between apartments and into the courtyard of the complex. As the officer was chasing him, authorities say the suspect fell onto the ground and turned towards the officer. They say at the same time, the suspect then raised a handgun, pointing it at the officer. The officer fired at the suspect, hitting him.
More officers arrived on scene and began giving the suspect medical attention until METS arrived. The suspect, identified as 36-year-old John M. Blanton of Webb City, was taken to Freeman Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. As of Monday, November 5th, he remains hospitalized under police watch.
The Joplin Police Department requested the Missouri State Highway Patrol respond to the scene to investigate the shooting. By policy, the Joplin Police Officer who fired his duty weapon has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
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