The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

March 13, 2013

Suspects charged in Joplin police shooting

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Jasper County prosecutor has filed charges against two suspects in connection with an officer-involved shooting shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart store at 1501 S. Range Line Road.

John C. Gage, 24, of Joplin, has been charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and is being held on a $25,000 bond with a cash-only amount of $5,000. Gage is accused of trying to run down Officer David McGough with a pickup truck as McGough and police Cpl. Trevor Duncan were checking out a disturbance in the parking lot.

McGough fired into the truck, wounding both Gage and his passenger, Tyeler K. Whetstone, 22, of Joplin. The truck then fled the lot but was stopped by police moments later at Range Line Road and 9th Street.

Gage was wounded in his right shoulder while Whetstone’s left ring finger was struck by a bullet. Both were treated at Freeman Hospital West prior to being taken to Joplin City Jail.

Whetstone has been charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and is being held on a $10,000 bond. Two bags containing meth allegedly were found on her person at the hospital, and she later admitted attempting to make a drug sale in the parking lot of the store, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Police Lt. Brian Lewis said the officer-involved shooting was being investigated internally. He said only the one officer fired any shots. The nature of the initial disturbance in the parking lot, the number of shots fired by McGough and the trajectory of each shot are focal points of the investigation. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave pending its outcome.



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