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JPD Officers Return to Active Duty - KOAM TV 7

JPD Officers Return to Active Duty

Updated:
Jeffery L. Hill Jeffery L. Hill
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

(12/10) [News Release from JPD] Beginning today, December 10, 2015, Officer Seth Lugenbell and Officer Brett Davis are returned to active duty. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) investigation yielded that Officer Lugenbell engaged Hill with his firearm as a result of Hill driving directly at Officer Lugenbell. Officer Davis did not deploy his firearm. The MSHP investigation determined that the use of force used by Officer Lugenbell was justified.

The MSHP will conduct an administrative review of their investigation. There will be a delay before the compilation and availability of the MSHP report.

The internal investigation, conducted by the Joplin Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau, continues. However, preliminary results of this facet of the investigation yields no reason for the officers to remain on administrative leave and they can return to serving the community.

The criminal investigation into the actions of Hill is complete. Pending the medical recovery of Hill, the Joplin Police Department will submit for review the following charges to the Newton County Prosecutor:

1. 1st Degree Assault on a law enforcement officer.

2. Driving While Intoxicated

3. Driving While Suspended

4. Resisting Arrest

# # #

(12/3)  In an update regarding an officer involved shooting on November 30th, Joplin Police say Jeffery L. Hill broke a window in an attempt to speak with a resident of the apartment. Hill left the scene after this incident. The residents filed a complaint for property destruction. 

An hour later, officers were called again to the same apartment. Police say Hill began pounding on the door and previously broken window. An occupant of the apartment answered the door and requested Hill to leave. Hill forced his way inside the apartment, but one of the primary residents was able to push Hill back out. 
According to the update Hill was attempting to leave when he drove his vehicle towards the officer.  Police shot at Hill, hitting him 4 times according to family.  

# # #

(12/1) We're learning now from police that Hill drove his vehicle directly at the officer, which caused him to fire multiple shots at the suspect. No charges have been filed.

The officers on admin leave are:  Seth Lugenbell and Brett Davis.

# # #

According to Bob Higginbotham only one of the officers involved in the shooting was wearing a body cam but it was not activated.  No body cam video is available for investigators to review.

# # #

The suspect in this event is identified as Jeffrey L. Hill, 49, Joplin. Hill remains under care at Freeman Hospital. 

# # #

The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to investigate this incident. The suspect remain hospitalized as a result of his injuries sustained in this event.

Officer Seth Lugenbell and Officer Brett Davis are removed from line-duty assignment pending administrative review. Department policy requires that any officer whose action(s) or use of force has seriously injured another person shall be removed from line-duty. 

This policy also covers involved officers. An involved officer is defined as an officer whose conduct was not the cause in fact of the injury but who was involved in the incident before or during the use of force. 

This action protects both the officer's and the community's interest until the situation is resolved. 

# # #

On November 30, 2015, at 9:16 PM, the Joplin Police Department responded to 3330 S. Texas, Oxford Apartments, in reference to a domestic assault. The suspect had fled the scene prior to the arrival of officers. 

Officers were again called to this location at 10:37 PM in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers were confronted with the same suspect from the earlier event and one officer was involved in a shooting. The suspect sustained gunshot injuries and was transported by ambulance to Freeman Hospital where he continues to receive medical treatment. No officers were injured in this incident. 

At the request of the Joplin Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to conduct the investigation. 

In accordance with standard practice, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave. 

(Press Release from Joplin PD)

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