The report describes the deadly encounter between the accused policeman’s killer and the Hermann police

GASCONADE COUNTY, Mo. — The man accused of killing a Hermann, Missouri, police officer and wounding another in a double shooting was charged Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty.

Kenneth Simpson appeared in court via video conference and is being represented by a public defender.

Gasconade County prosecutors have charged Simpson with first-degree murder, first-degree assault — special victim, unlawful firearm possession, and two counts of armed felonies.

A probable cause statement issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol details the fatal encounter between Simpson and Officer Adam Sullentrup and Detective Sgt. Maurer Griffith.

The shooting itself took place just after 9:05 p.m. on Sunday March 12 at Casey’s General Store on Market Street in Hermann.

Griffith and Sullentrup were called into the store because of an angry customer. When they arrived, they found Simpson in the back of the store, believing he had active warrants out for his arrest.

Griffith called Simpson “Kenny”, but Simpson seemed to ignore him. Officers asked Simpson for ID, but he claimed he had no ID.

Investigators allege Simpson repeatedly denied his identity, initially saying his name was “Justin” before saying it was “Kevin” a few minutes later.

Griffith and Sullentrup told Simpson who they thought he was and why they were there. Simpson reportedly got excited and began pacing in the back of the store. Griffith asked Simpson if the state police would come and run a fingerprint scan if that would confirm his identity. Simpson again said his name was “Kevin”.

Sullentrup went to his squad car and got a cell phone with Simpson’s picture on it. Sullentrup came back into the store and held the phone in Simpson’s face. Police allege Simpson continued to deny his identity.

Griffith took out his handcuffs and both officers told Simpson he was under arrest. Simpson backed away from officers, turned, and then pulled a pistol from his right side.

The probable cause statement states that Simpson fired multiple times at the officers, hitting both Griffith and Sullentrup. Griffith managed to return fire as Simpson ran from the store.

Griffith was taken to Hermann Area District Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 10:55 p.m. Griffith was 34 years old. He was 34 years old. Sullentrup, 31, was rushed to a St. Louis hospital in critical condition. The The BackStoppers organization said it would help both families. The report describes the deadly encounter between the accused policeman’s killer and the Hermann police

Sarah Y. Kim

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