A Joplin police officer shot and killed a man Tuesday night who was described by a friend as a diagnosed schizophrenic prone to periodic episodes of paranoia and delusions.
The Joplin Police Department announced in two news releases Wednesday that David T. Ingle, 31, was fatally shot by an officer in the course of a protracted struggle with two officers at 901 W. Kensington Road.
The two officers involved — one of whom was injured in the incident — were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations of the officer-involved shooting by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the internal affairs bureau of the Joplin Police Department. The officers have not been named as yet.
Police responded at 9:20 p.m. to a call reporting a suspicious man yelling at the address and possibly on drugs. The first officer on the scene spotted Ingle running down the street and saw him fall to the ground screaming. When a second officer arrived, they attempted to detain him due to his erratic behavior, according to police.
Ingle resisted efforts to detain him and both officers deployed their stun guns, according to police Capt. Nick Jimenez. Ingle was struck multiple times with probes from the stun guns but continued to resist, Jimenez said One of the officers was struck in her hand by a probe while deploying her stun gun and was rendered temporarily unable to assist the other officer due to her injury, he said.
The officer who was still engaged with Ingle subsequently "attempted to create distance" between him and Ingle, police said in a news release. But Ingle charged at him and the officer fired his service weapon, police said.
Jimenez declined to discuss how many shots were fired pending the outcome of the investigations, but neighbors reported hearing five shots. Police acknowledge that no weapons were found in Ingle's possession.
Police say the officers attempted life-saving measures on Ingle while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical help at the scene after the shooting. He was transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital Joplin, where he was pronounced dead.
The female officer involved was treated at a hospital and released.
Police say both officers were wearing body cams. The videos from those cameras are considered investigative in nature at this point and have not been made public as yet.
Joplin resident Michael Deguerre, 30, told the Globe that he has known Ingle for more than 10 years and considers him a fairly close friend. Deguerrre said he was living with Ingle 10 years ago when Ingle first began experiencing episodes of mental illness that landed him in the Stevens unit at Freeman Hospital East, where he was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
He said Ingle has had a history of arrests due to his mental illness since then, although he is relatively harmless.
"I've never known him to initiate any violence," Deguerre said.
He acknowledged that he has not seen Ingle for a while and does not know what may have been going on with him Tuesday night. But he spoke to him on the phone a little more than a month ago and he seemed "pretty lucid" at that time.
Jimenez told the Globe that he was not aware of any claim that Ingle suffered from a mental illness.