Carter County deputy and MSHP trooper shot

By Shari Harris

Co-Publisher

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that “at 9:51 a.m. on August 16, 2019, officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol were assisting the Carter County Sheriff’s Department at a residence in rural Carter County near Van Buren, Missouri. After attempting to contact the occupant, a male suspect began firing from inside the residence. Both a Missouri state trooper and a Carter County deputy were struck by gunfire.”
Both officers were transported to hospitals and the incident ended with the suspect’s capture. The suspect was formally charged in Carter County Circuit Court. The MSHP also reported that “James D. Cummings, age 31, of Van Buren, was charged with four counts of assault first degree and four counts of armed criminal action. The court denied Cummings bond.
“The above charges are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of these charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.”
The shooting investigation is being conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.
Carter County Sheriff Richard Stephens reported on the condition of the injured Carter County deputy on the Sheriff Department’s Facebook page. “Deputy Pierson is progressing well and eager to get back to serving his community,” posted Stephens on Sunday, August 18. “He’s progressing but still has a battle before him.”
The injured trooper was treated and released at a Poplar Bluff hospital.
Sheriff Stephens also posted a letter in which he thanked the community and others for the efforts made that day. His reflections summarize the times in which we find ourselves living.
Stephens wrote, “The unfortunate events which unfolded in Van Buren Missouri on Friday…were not only senseless and void of any honor but also a sober reality of the world we now reside within. With that understanding we must be forever cognizant that we refuse to accept this reality and constantly strive to be a better people, empathetic and driven to increase our ability to lift others up rather than tearing others down.”

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