Man charged with shooting officers, 1 dead, 1 injured

HERMANN, Mo. — A community is mourning after a Hermann, Missouri police officer was shot dead on duty and an officer from another department was seriously injured.

The congregation gathers to honor the fallen officer. The flags were carried by the town of Rosebud, where Hermann Detective Sgt. Mason Griffin was formerly the chief of police.

Gasconade County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Kenneth Lee Simpson with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of armed acts.

Simpson surrendered after a long standoff with police at a home on East 11th and Market.

The SWAT team and officials from various departments negotiated a peaceful surrender with Simpson. According to court records, he has a criminal history.

Local residents are still in shock after the fatal shooting around 9 p.m. on Sunday. Griffith and New Haven Police Officer Adam Sullentrup were at Casey’s gas station in Hermann. Officers attempted to take Simpson into custody pending warrants.

Investigators said both officers were shot dead at that moment. Sullentrup is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. Griffith died, leaving his wife and two children.

The community said Griffith was missing.

“As a whole, the community was hit. He was one of the best officers we’ve ever had in this city,” said Mercedes Schnellig. “He always made us feel safe.”

Griffith was also a former police officer in Gerald, Missouri.

“To me, Mr. Griffith was a great guy. I met him 12 years ago, he came into this town and he started cleaning up this town,” said James Goggin. “He was a man of his word; He did everything he said.”

Griffith’s visit is scheduled for Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Owensville High School, 3336 Highway 19, Owensville, Missouri. The funeral follows.

The burial will take place at the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Rosebud. A vigil will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Rosebud at Red Barn off Highway 50 Man charged with shooting officers, 1 dead, 1 injured

Sarah Y. Kim

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