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Community Safety

Suspect Dead, Springfield Officer OK After Shooting

Chief Williams addresses reporters near the scene of Friday's incident/Credit: Scott Harvey

Gunfire erupted during a lengthy standoff between Springfield law enforcement and a suspect Friday morning in the 2500 block of West Grand Street, resulting in one dead and a wounded officer. KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports.

Update 2-25-13 1:20 p.m.: Springfield Police have identified the deceased gunman in Friday morning’s shooting with law enforcement as that of Martin Y. Potts, a 29-year-old white male.

Original post: 2-22-13: Police Chief Paul Williams says it had been 16 years since the last time an officer was wounded by a suspect’s gunfire in the city. Fortunately, Detective Travis Wilson was only grazed by a bullet on his right back. He’s since been treated and released.

The incident started late Thursday evening, according to Williams, when officers were investigating commercial burglaries along W. Chestnut Expressway. When authorities attempted to pull over a pickup truck with no license plates that was spotted leaving the area, the driver fled. However, police did not pursue. The truck was later revealed to have been stolen and discovered wrecked and abandoned along N. West Avenue. Footprints in the snow led officers from the vehicle to the residence on Grand Street.

“A perimeter was then established around the residence, a search warrant was obtained for the residence. Officers and a special response team were on site to serve that search warrant when the suspect emerged and fired at officers, and got us to where we are right now,” Williams said.

The shooting took place about three hours after officers had surrounding the residence, where they were working to call out the suspect.

The deceased male suspect has not been identified. An autopsy will be performed.

The injured detective was not wearing a protective vest. Williams says the detective and patrol officers were not actively engaged in the execution of the search warrant, but when fired upon they “took the opportunity to defend themselves at that point.”

Multiple officers were involved in the exchange of gunfire, all of whom have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal and criminal investigation. Williams would not say how many officers were involved.

He added that a couple people at the scene were taken in for questioning and have been released.

Springfield Police Department is conducting both the internal and criminal investigation.