Law enforcement officials in southeast Missouri should stand proud today following the arrest of a suspect in the slaying of a fellow officer. Police have charged Lance Shockley of Van Buren with the March 20 assassination of Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr. Graham was shot outside his home following his shift on duty.
Officials believe Shockley was a suspect in a fatal accident that Graham was investigating. They speculate that Graham may have been close to an arrest in the case and that provided the motive for Shockley. The trooper was shot both with a rifle and shotgun, officials said.
Police are always vigilant in cases of major crimes. But when it strikes one of their own, the priority changes. In this case, countless hours of investigation resulted in Tuesday's arrest.
Any killing is senseless. But when a law enforcement officer is involved, it simply takes on a new level of concern. Law enforcement officials are, in many ways, our protectors. When one of them is threatened, we are all threatened.
Law enforcement officials from throughout the area were involved in this investigation. We commend them for their professional and swift action. And like many others, we'll follow this case closely as it makes its way through the courts. In the end, we hope justice is indeed served.
The arrest won't bring total closure to the family of the slain officer, but it gives residents of this area some level of comfort to see the skills and talents of law enforcement combine to solve a murder.
And for the people of the Van Buren area where the crime was committed, it gives them relief. They can now sleep a little more soundly knowing that those who protect us did their job well, did their job swiftly and, hopefully in