[Nameplate] Fair ~ 79°F  
High: 89°F ~ Low: 73°F
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Off-duty officer shot in attempted robbery

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ambulance personnel rush Pemiscot County communications officer Jack Owens from the scene of a shooting Wednesday afternoon.
CARUTHERSVILLE -- A communications officer with the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department is in critical but stable condition after being shot while trying to wrestle a gun from an assailant during an attempted robbery Wednesday afternoon.

According to a news release from the Caruthersville Police Department, Jack Owens, 44, was off duty when he was shot at America's Cash Advance, located at 313 Ward Ave. in downtown Caruthersville. Officers responded to a 911 call at about 1:51 p.m., which alerted them to an attempted robbery and the shooting.

When officials -- including all off-duty police officers -- arrived on the scene, they found Owens lying on the floor. Eyewitnesses who first arrived on the scene reported Owens was conscious and talking.

Reportedly, the suspect came into America's Cash Advance and pointed a pistol at the clerk, store manager Rebecca Morgan, and demanded money.

Owens, who was on his lunch hour when he either walked in on the robbery or was already in the building when in occurred, attempted to unarm the suspect. During the struggle, he was subsequently shot one time in the left arm, left chest area.

He was primarily treated by EMS from the Hayti Hospital and Caruthersville Police Department, then airlifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

The robber fled the scene on foot and was last seen leaving the area in a gray-colored older model four-door vehicle traveling at a high speed eastbound on East Fourth Street.

A vehicle matching this description was later located by the Missouri State Highway Patrol at the 61 mile marker on Interstate 55. An investigative stop was conducted, resulting in two males, 32 and 29, both of Cape Girardeau, who were arrested and questioned about the robbery and shooting investigation, which was ongoing at the time in Caruthersville.

The vehicle was later identified as the one used in the armed robbery; and the two suspects arrested were transported from the MSHP's satellite office in Sikeston, where they were interviewed. The pair were taken to the Pemiscot County Justice Center, where they were incarcerated.

One suspect is being held on charges of first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and first-degree assault. The other is being held on charges of first degree robbery. Names are being held pending the filing of formal charges, which are expected to be filed today by Pemiscot County Prosecutor Michael B. Hazel. As of press time, both were being held with no bond.

Responding to the investigation were: the Caruthersville Police Department, Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department, Bootheel Drug Task Force, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drugs and Crime Control, Hayti Police, Steele Police and Portageville Police Departments.