Names released in officer-involved shooting

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

25-year-old Cassville man dead from gunshots after scuffle

Cassville police have released the names of the suspect and officer in an incident that led to the death of a 25-year-old Cassville man on Tuesday.

John Thomas, 25, of Cassville, died en route to a Springfield hospital after being shot by Cpl. Donald Privett of the Cassville Police Department.

Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief, said at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Cassville Police Department responded to a 911 call at 600 Old Exeter Road for a disturbance.

According to Kammerlohr, Thomas allegedly assaulted Privett with a pipe upon his arrival, forcing Privett to draw his weapon and shoot Thomas.

Privett has been released from Mercy hospital in Cassville, where he was treated for minor injuries as a result of the assault. He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation being conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Barry County Sheriff's Department.

"I can't comment on what happened until the [Missouri State Highway Patrol] finishes its investigation," Kammerlohr said. "I've been told it can run up to 10 days, but hopefully it won't last that long."

Kammerlohr said in the meantime, the department is going about business as usual and supporting one another in a difficult time.

"We're pulling together and handling things the best we can," she said. "We've got a job to do and we have to continue doing that job and supporting each other."

Kammerlohr said information regarding Privett's past association with Thomas, as well as specific information about the nature of the shooting, could not be released until the investigation is complete. She said an autopsy report has yet to be completed.

A 20-year employee of the Barry County Sheriff's Department and 5-year chief of police in Cassville, Kammerlohr said she could not remember the last officer-involved shooting in the city, and such incidents rarely occur.

Privett declined comment on this story, saying he cannot speak about the incident until the investigation has been completed.

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