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Child Endangerment Charges Filed After Multi-County Pursuit - KOAM TV 7

Child Endangerment Charges Filed After Multi-County Pursuit

Updated:

The Jasper County, Missouri Prosecutor's Office has filed charges after a multi-county police pursuit.

20-year-old Marquis Saunders of Carterville, Missouri is charged with four counts of first degree endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk and one count of resisting/interfering with arrest for a felony.

On June 14th, 2018, dispatch received multiple 911 calls about a drive-by shooting at 406 N. Pearl Avenue in Joplin, Missouri. The calls came in around 11:30 p.m. When officers arrived they secured the scene and determined that there were no injuries. Investigators were told that a vehicle described as a dark SUV drove by the home and a person in the SUV fired multiple gunshots.

About three hours later, two detectives were parked in an unmarked police vehicle in the area of Broadway Street and High Avenue. They say a Ford Explorer, which matched the description of the suspect vehicle, pulled up beside them. Marquis Saunders was the driver of the Ford Explorer. Authorities say a passenger in the rear seat of the SUV pointed an unknown object out of the window at them. According to court documents, Saunders sped away when police tried to pull him over.

The pursuit continued into Labette County, Kansas where the vehicle came to a stop. Saunders was arrested by the Labette County Sheriff's Office. One other adult and four juveniles, a 13-, 14-, 15- and 16-year-old, were also in the vehicle. Three of the juveniles were released to a parent or guardian and one was taken to a detention center due to being reported as a runaway.

Saunders is in the Labette County jail waiting extradition to Jasper County. Officials in Labette County could also press charges.

Authorities are still investigating whether Saunders is connected to the drive by shooting that happened earlier that night at 406 N. Pearl Avenue.

Joplin Police are asking that anyone with information about the case call them at 417-623-3131 x885.

The JPD thanks the Labette County Sheriff's Office for their assistance.

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