The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

October 9, 2012

Former Lamar officer kills wife, wounds mother-in-law; ex-policeman takes own life

LAMAR, Mo. — Landon L. Ison never offered a reason for abruptly quitting his job as a Lamar police officer two months ago.

He moved out of the house he shared with his wife and two sons at the start of this month.

Then shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday, emergency responders were called to the troubled family’s home about a mile southwest of Lamar after Ison reportedly shot and killed his wife, Dana I. Ison, 33, and critically wounded her mother, Cheryl J. Thompson, 67.

Thompson left the home at 91 S.W. Fifth Lane and went to a neighbor’s house seeking help in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The neighbor called 911.

Barton County sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical technicians found Thompson still conscious outside the residence, and she was taken to Cox Medical Center South in Springfield with what was described as a life-threatening gunshot wound.

Dana Ison was discovered unresponsive inside the home, according to Sgt. Mike Watson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. She was pronounced dead at the scene. She also had been shot, he said. The couple’s two sons were unharmed, he said.

Watson said investigators quickly developed the 32-year-old estranged husband as the lone suspect and began looking for him. About 2:30 a.m., officers located his blue Ford Explorer along a road about four miles northwest of Lamar. The search for him ended in a nearby field.

Ison had taken his own life with a rifle that was recovered near his body, Watson said.

“I think it’s a terrible thing,” Lamar police Chief Ron Hager said in reaction to the murder-suicide at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Hager said Ison was a good officer in the more than nine years he served on the Lamar police force since being hired in January 2003. Before that, he had served as a dispatcher with the Barton County Sheriff’s Department.

The police chief said Ison never gave him a reason for quitting Aug. 7. He just chose not to come into work one day, he said.

Barton County Sheriff Mitchell Shaw said he asked the state patrol to serve as the lead investigative agency in the shootings “because of the close personal relationships we all had with Officer Ison.”

Barton County Circuit Court records show that Landon Ison filed for divorce in January. Court records indicate that Ison and his wife both submitted parenting plans to the court. But the record shows that the case was dismissed by both parties on July 11.

Shaw, who acknowledged being a close friend of the couple, said he did not necessarily know all that was going on in their relationship.

“Whenever I was around, they seemed to have a good relationship,” Shaw said. “I can’t tell you what’s been going on recently because I haven’t been right there with them.”

The sheriff said he was aware that his friend had quit his job with the Lamar police. He said Ison never told him why, and he chose not to force the issue by asking. Everyone in the community regarded the Isons as “hard-working people,” he said.

Dana Ison worked for AOK Youth Development Services. Kathy Jenkins, president of AOK’s board of directors, released a statement praising her contributions as a social worker and school-age program coordinator.

“She loved the children and they loved her,” the statement read. “She was passionate about making a difference in their lives and she did. Words cannot express our sorrow at her passing.”

Watson declined to discuss details about how many times each woman was shot or the sequence of events inside the house that resulted in the shootings. He also declined to comment on whether the rifle discovered with Landon Ison’s body is believed to have been the weapon used in the shootings of his wife and mother-in-law. He said such details remain under investigation.

He also declined to comment on whether the couple’s two boys witnessed the shootings.


FORMER POLICE OFFICER LANDON ISON moved out of his family’s home Oct. 1 and had been living at an address in Lamar before Tuesday’s murder-suicide, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

THE LAMAR POLICE CHIEF and the Barton County sheriff said there have been no previous reports of domestic violence involving Ison and his wife.

Text Only
Crime & Courts
  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Grand jury indicts Tennessee man on three charges

    A federal grand jury indicted a Tennessee man Wednesday on charges related to the alleged enticement of a minor from Lawrence County for sexual acts.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin man faces grand jury indictment in child porn case

    A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging a Joplin man with receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

    July 23, 2014

  • High winds overturn empty box truck in Cherokee County

    High winds from Wednesday’s thunderstorm overturned an empty box truck in Southeast Kansas, authorities said.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tulsa man faces robbery charge

    A suspect in a shoplifting incident Monday at the Sears store in Northpark Mall in Joplin was charged with robbery after he and an accomplice reportedly resisted a store employee’s effort to detain them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wrecks injure two on area roadways

    A Carthage man suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday on East 50th Street, a half-mile east of Joplin in Newton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

    July 22, 2014

  • Assault sends man to Joplin hospital

    Joplin police are investigating an apparent felony assault that sent a 20-year-old man to Freeman Hospital West with injuries to his head and shoulder.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Youth shot in shoulder after reportedly encountering burglars

    A male juvenile was treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder after a reported home invasion early Saturday in the 100 block of South 250th Street, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

    July 21, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted on child pornography charges

    A federal grand jury today indicted a Joplin couple for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a previous indictment of the husband for producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

Local News

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record