Officer down: Here’s the hero – and dad – killed trying to stop an active shooter this week

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SPRINGFIELD, MO– Earlier this week, we told you about an officer in Springfield, Missouri who was murdered in the line of duty.

Officer Christopher Walsh and Josiah Overton responded to a report of an active shooter inside of a Kum & Go convenience store. The shooter had been going around the city shooting at different locations before police were able to track him down at the convenience store.

The suspect had crashed his vehicle into the store and started shooting when he got out of the car.

Upon arrival, the two officers were immediately fired upon.

Officer Overton, 25, was hit by gunfire and was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officer Walsh, unfortunately, died from his injuries.

Officer Walsh was 32 years old.  He leaves behind a wife and a daughter.

He was with the Springfield Police Department since 2016 and before that he was a United States Army veteran. Officer Walsh was active in the Army reserves for 10 years. Officer Walsh attended the Ozark Technical Community College and completed the EMT-B course.

The name of the shooter has not been released, but he was found deceased when officers entered the convenience store, along with three other civilians. He also shot and wounded a fourth civilian.

The Springfield Police Department released a statement, saying, in part:

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of our Officer Christopher Walsh who died in the line of duty after being shot while attempting to rescue a shooting victim at the Kum & Go at 2885 E Chestnut Expressway.”

Police Chief Paul Williams said:

“Chris died a hero, rushing in without regard to his own safety to protect members of his community. His courageous actions serve as an example to us all.”

Senator Roy Blunt released a statement following the shooting, which said:

“My thoughts are with the loved ones of all of the victims of last night’s attack in Springfield. I am grateful for the courage our law enforcement officers demonstrated as they rushed to the scene, and saddened by the loss of Springfield Police Officer Christopher Walsh.

Officer Walsh lived a life of service to his country and his community. As a police officer and U.S. Army veteran, Officer Walsh exemplified the best of our nation.

My thoughts are also with Officer Josiah Overton and the civilian victim who are being treated for their injuries. We are forever indebted to our law enforcement officers and their families for the tremendous sacrifices they make every day to keep us safe.”

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Here is the full statement read by Chief Williams following the incident:

“The information being released this morning are the confirmed facts we have available at this time and we will provide updates as more information becomes available.

On March 15, 2020, at 11:24 p.m., Springfield Police Officers were dispatched to the area of Battlefield Rd. and Lone Pine Ave. regarding a shooting. While en route, multiple shooting calls were received, including one at 2100 S Ingram Mill and another at Sunshine and Hwy 65.

Another call came in at 11:43 and officers were dispatched to the Kum & Go located at 2885 E Chestnut Expressway regarding another shooting. We believe one individual is responsible for each of these incidents. Callers at the Kum & Go reported a vehicle crashing at the scene and an armed suspect entering the store and shooting customers and employees.

Officer Josiah Overton and Officer Christopher Walsh were first to arrive and were immediately fired upon by the suspect.

Other responding officers arrived, removed the two injured officers and made entry into the store where they found the suspect deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At the scene, they also located three other deceased individuals and one person with a gunshot wound. That person was transported to a local hospital where they are being treated. Next of kin for the victims have not been notified yet.

The suspect has not yet been positively identified.

Unfortunately, Officer Christopher Walsh suffered a fatal gunshot wound and passed away at the hospital.

Officer Josiah Overton sustained non-life threatening injuries and is being treated at a local hospital.

Officer Overton has been with SPD for two years and Officer Walsh was with SPD for three and a half years and was a U.S. Army veteran who remained active in the Army Reserves.

Both of these officers showed significant bravery and were heroic in their actions. We ask that you respect their families’ privacy at this time. We ask for your thoughts and prayers for the officers’ families and the members of the Springfield Police Department.

Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of our Officer Christopher Walsh who died in the line of duty after being shot while attempting to rescue a shooting victim at the Kum & Go at 2885 E Chestnut Expressway.

Officer Walsh served with the Springfield Police Department since 2016 and was assigned as a patrol officer after graduating with the 68th Academy. He was also an Army veteran, active in the US Army Reserves for 10 years.

Officer Walsh is a Springfield native. He graduated from Glendale High School before attending Ozark Technical Community College where he completed the EMT-B course.

Chris was 32 years old and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Chris died a hero, rushing in without regard to his own safety to protect members of his community. His courageous actions serve as an example to us all.”

Rest in peace, hero. We’ll take it from here.

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