Springfield, MO – Springfield Police Department (SPD) Officer Christopher Walsh was murdered by an active shooter late Sunday night.
The incident began at approximately 11:24 p.m., when Springfield police received a report of a shooting in the area of Lone Pine and Battlefield, the SPD said in a press release.
While they were responding, calls of additional shootings at two other locations in the city were reported.
“In essence, we had a roving active shooter,” Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said during a press conference on Monday morning.
The final call came in at approximately 11:43 p.m., after the gunman crashed into a Kum & Go store.
“Callers reported a vehicle had crashed at the scene and an armed suspect had entered the store and began shooting customers and employees,” Chief Williams said.
Springfield Police Officer Josiah Overton and Officer Walsh were the first to arrive at the scene, ABC News reported.
“[They] were immediately fired upon by the suspect, both being struck by gunfire,” Chief Williams said.
Additional officers pulled the wounded officers out of the store to safety and made their way into the building.
They discovered the bodies of three citizens inside, ABC News reported.
A fourth wounded citizen was transported to the hospital in unknown condition, KOLR reported.
The gunman was also found dead from an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Chief Williams said.
The wounded officers were rushed to a local hospital, where Officer Walsh was pronounced dead.
The U.S. Army veteran served the Springfield Police Department (SPD) for three-and-one-half-years, and was also active in the Army reserves, ABC News reported.
Officer Overton, a two-year veteran-of-the-force, is expected to survive his wounds.
“Both officers showed significant bravery and were heroic in their actions,” Chief Williams told reporters. “We ask that you respect their families’ privacy at this time.”
Missouri Governor Mike Parson released a statement expressing his appreciation and support for law enforcement officers in the wake of Officer Walsh’s murder.
“Teresa and I are deeply saddened to hear of the fatal shootings last night in Springfield which resulted in the loss of SPD Officer Christopher Walsh,” Parson wrote. “Officer Walsh will never be forgotten, and Missouri will always be grateful.”
“Officers throughout Missouri protect us every day without hesitation and without second guessing the potential impacts on themselves,” the governor continued. “They do a job that most people don’t want to do, but others expect them to. It is our responsibility to pay tribute to them with the highest respect.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Springfield Police Department Officer Christopher Walsh, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Christopher Walsh, your life mattered.