Suspect Caught in Shooting That Left 1 Officer Dead, 1 Hurt

Suspect Caught in Shooting That Left 1 Officer Dead, 1 Hurt
A tactical unit from the Missouri Highway Patrol moves to enter a home where a man was believed to be hiding after being accused of shooting two Hermann police officers Sunday night, on March 13, 2023. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

HERMANN, Mo.—The search for the man suspected of killing one small-town Missouri police officer and badly injuring another ended Monday when the man came out of a home that had been surrounded by police.

The shooting happened about 9:30 p.m. Sunday at a convenience store in Hermann, a town of 2,100 residents about 80 miles west of St. Louis. Detective Sgt. Mason Griffith of the Hermann Police Department died, and Officer Adam Sullentrup, 31, was hospitalized in stable condition, authorities said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has not released information about what led to the shooting. It wasn’t clear if the officers returned fire. The patrol identified the suspect as 35-year-old Kenneth Lee Simpson of St. Louis County.

By early Tuesday, police surrounded a home along Highway 19 not far from the shooting site. TV video at midday showed a police robot being used to pull off the front screen door, then a drone was sent in.

The patrol confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the suspect was taken into custody after exiting the home. No other information was immediately released.

Robert Koerber, who was Hermann’s mayor when Griffith was hired seven years ago, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Griffith was a natural as a police officer, someone people trusted.

“He was one of my favorite officers because he had such an easy and effective style,” Koerber said. “He seemed to take a personal interest in people. He was interested in whatever your problem was.”

Online Missouri court records show Simpson has a long history of criminal charges involving drugs, weapons offenses, assault, and property damage. A St. Louis County judge issued a warrant for Simpson’s arrest in August when he failed to show up in court in a drug possession case.

Hermann is town known for its annual German festivals is the county seat of Gasconade County. The local school district canceled classes Monday as a precaution.