Five From Troop H Among 35 Honored At Highway Patrol Awards

Five members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop H, headquartered in St. Joseph and serving Northwest Missouri, were among 35 recently honored with awards at the Patrol’s annual awards banquet.

The Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes a civilian employee who has been actively involved in public service whether performed on or off the job. That award was given to

Communications Operator III Melanie A. Stallsworth has gone to great lengths to improve work in the radio room, improve the training techniques used and develop study materials for new hires,

Four others were awarded the Patrol’s Lifesaving Award, which is given to an active or retired employee who is distinguished by saving the life of another person.

Among them Corporal Kaleb F. Jeffers who helped save a drivers life after a crash in January 2021, Sergeant Kurt A. Schmutzler and Corporal Bradley E. Maudlin who helped evacuate people from flash flooding in Amazonia last June, and Corporal Dale R. Reuter who rescued occupants of a vehicle submerged in flood waters in Macon County last June.

The awards were presented at the Highway Patrol’s awards ceremony April 29 in Columbia.


The Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Public Service recognizes a civilian employee who has been actively involved in public service whether performed on or off the job.

Communications Operator III Melanie A. Stallsworth, Troop H

Comm. Oper. III Melanie A. Stallsworth, Troop H, uses downtime to search for projects to enhance the efficiency of the radio room. She reviewed the troop’s training program and developed detailed study materials and tests for our new hires. She handled the annual policy review for Troop H Communications where she identified policies that needed to reflect recent changes and made appropriate suggestions. Most recently, she was recognized by MOAPCO’s Teammates in Action for her part in the recovery of an abducted child through the AMBER Alert program. Comm. Oper. III Stallsworth is quick to assist coworkers in developing their own skills. Her leadership influences coworkers to perform to the highest of standards to the benefit of the agency and the citizens we serve.

The Patrol’s Lifesaving Award is presented to an active or retired employee who is distinguished by saving the life of another person. We are presenting 22 Lifesaving Awards for actions taken in 2021.

Communications Operator III Lori L. Wood, Troop G

On Saturday, December 18, 2021, Communications Operator III Lori L. Wood, Troop G, was working the overnight shift when she received a call from Texas County 911 regarding a vehicle in the water on Missouri Highway 17 and North Pine Street in Summersville, Missouri. Comm. Oper. III Wood consulted a map and determined North Pine Street did not exist in the Summersville area. Using the provided cell phone number, Comm. Oper. III Wood called the driver to determine her location. Unfortunately, they had a poor connection and their call ended. Comm. Oper. Wood III began texting the driver using her personal cell phone in order to determine the driver’s approximate location. She then called out Sergeant S. Neal Foster, Troop G, to assist. Comm. Oper. Wood III continued texting until he arrived. The driver was hypothermic and quite frightened. Sergeant Foster took her to a local department store to acquire dry clothing and then transported her to a residence in Mountain View, Missouri.

Commercial Vehicle Officer I Travis A. Morris, Troop F

At 6:30 p.m. March 13, 2021, Commercial Vehicle Officer I Travis A. Morris, Troop F, and his family were enjoying a meal together at Bandana’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in Jefferson City, Missouri. During the meal, his father-in-law began choking on a piece of food, and his attempt to wash the food down with water made the situation worse. The gentleman could not breathe or talk. CVO I Morris quickly went to his father-in-law and applied the abdominal thrust maneuver, dislodging the food from his airway and allowing him to breathe again.

Trooper Kara R. Dinwiddie, Troop F

At 8:19 p.m. October 7, 2021, Trooper Kara R. Dinwiddie, Troop F, responded to a medical call in Eldon, Missouri. Miller County Communications advised the victim consumed an unknown amount of OxyContin pills and was unresponsive. Tpr. Dinwiddie arrived on scene and was directed to a bathroom, where she located a man partially submerged in the bathtub. She observed that the man was unconscious, not breathing, cold to the touch, and pale. Tpr. Dinwiddie quickly administered one dose of Narcan nasal spray. After approximately 60 seconds there was no change in behavior, so Tpr. Dinwiddie administered a second dose of Narcan nasal spray. She extracted the man from the bathtub and moved him to the living room floor. Tpr. Dinwiddie continued administering first aid and providing rescue breaths. After several minutes, the man’s pulse became stronger, and he started breathing. Several minutes later, the man regained consciousness and refused additional medical assistance.

Trooper Brian J. Geier, Troop F

At 1:50 p.m. January 5, 2021, Trooper Brian J. Geier, Troop F, was on duty and had finished eating lunch at B & B Drive In located in Versailles, Missouri, when a man approached him and motioned that he was choking. Tpr. Geier instructed the restaurant staff to call 911, then asked the man if he was able to breathe. The man indicated he could not. Tpr. Geier then performed six to seven abdominal thrusts on the man, after which he appeared to be able to breathe in some air. However, after a few seconds, it was apparent the man was still choking and unable to breathe. Tpr. Geier performed additional abdominal thrusts without success. Tpr. Geier then placed the man’s abdomen on the back of a chair and pressed the man down four times against the chair. This resulted in the man’s airway opening and he began to breathe normally. After ambulance personnel evaluated him, he refused further treatment.

Corporal Alex J. Shibley, Trooper Thadeus E. McVeigh, and Trooper Jeffrey J. Wilt, Troop C

On August 20, 2021, Corporal Alex J. Shibley and Trooper Jeffrey J. Wilt, both Troop C, were patrolling U.S. Highway 67 in St. Francois County, Missouri, when they observed a tractor-trailer crash into the center median. Tpr. Wilt immediately turned around and returned to the crash scene. When Cpl. Shibley approached the driver’s side of the tractor-trailer, he recognized the driver’s arm had drawn up and he had begun to exhibit agonal breathing. Cpl. Shibley and Tpr. Wilt removed the driver from the vehicle and carried him to a safe location. An assessment of the driver’s condition revealed he was not breathing and had no pulse. Cpl. Shibley and Tpr. Wilt began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Tpr. Thadeus E. McVeigh, Troop C, overheard radio traffic regarding the crash and responded to the scene. Tpr. McVeigh, Tpr. Wilt, and Cpl. Shibley worked together to administer numerous cycles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation before the driver regained a pulse and began breathing on his own. The driver was subsequently transported to a local hospital. The man recovered from his injuries.

Trooper Jared O. Prater, Troop D

At approximately 3:13 p.m. November 18, 2021, Trooper Jared O. Prater, Troop D, was assisting Missouri State Park Ranger Steven Jabben with locating a missing, suicidal gentleman. They found the man unconscious in the driver’s seat of his vehicle on Forest Road 1045A, a densely wooded area in Mark Twain National Forest. Tpr. Prater recognized a Coleman camping stove was burning inside the vehicle, and there was an empty prescription pill bottle next to the man. Banging on the vehicle and windows, they could not get the man to wake up. Tpr. Prater used Ranger Jabben’s expandable baton to break-out the front passenger’s side window. He unlocked the doors, shut off the Coleman stove, and rolled down all the windows, allowing fresh air to enter the vehicle. After a period of time breathing fresh air, the man woke up and became responsive. An ambulance arrived and transported him to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, for treatment.

Trooper James A. Rowe, Troop E

At approximately 4:08 p.m. July 31, 2021, Trooper James A. Rowe, Troop E, was traveling westbound on East Malone Avenue, near the intersection of Kings Highway, when he observed an SUV in a parking lot. The SUV was moving, but there didn’t appear to be anyone in the driver’s seat, and an older female was running along the driver’s side of the vehicle with the driver’s door opened. Tpr. Rowe pulled into the parking lot with activated emergency red and blue lights and maneuvered his patrol car to a position where it wouldn’t be struck. He saw the woman fall and after exiting his patrol car realized the woman was being drug by the vehicle. Tpr. Rowe reached into and applied the brakes to stop the vehicle. The driver’s seat belt was wrapped around the woman’s neck, which was what had been dragging her for approximately 30 feet. Sikeston emergency medical services responded shortly thereafter.

Trooper Erica P. Volkart, Troop F

At 7:17 p.m. March 13, 2021, Trooper Erica P. Volkart, Troop F, was patrolling and heard radio traffic regarding a structure fire in Blackburn, Missouri. Tpr. Volkart was the first to arrive at the multi-residence, single story complex and observed visible flames from one apartment and heavy smoke throughout the structure. She assisted residents from two of the apartments to safety. A Saline County deputy arrived to assist. Tpr. Volkart then moved to the west side of the structure. Two subjects were still inside their residence, which was quickly filling with smoke, attempting to retrieve their pets. As Tpr. Volkart was escorting them from the building, the female ran back into the residence. Tpr. Volkart immediately re-entered the smoke-filled residence and began calling for the subject. She was able to convince the female to leave the residence and move to a safe location.

Sergeant Charles W. Hoff, Q/WPD, Corporal Dean A. Bartlett, Troop F, Corporal Billy V. Cole, Troop A, and Corporal Adam D. Smith, Troop C

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Dive Team members Corporal Dean A. Bartlett, Troop F; Corporal Billy V. Cole, Troop A; Corporal Jason M. Hurt, Troop C; Corporal Adam D. Smith, Troop C; and Sergeant Charles W. Hoff, Q/WPD; met two Kansas City Police Department detectives to search two storm watershed ponds for a weapon used in a homicide. During the dive operation, Cpl. Hurt suffered a cardiac arrest. Cpl. Bartlett immediately ran to Cpl. Hurt’s location, recognized he was unresponsive, and directed a team member to bring an AED and the emergency oxygen kit. He also asked that someone call 911. Cpl. Smith moved to help Cpl. Bartlett while Cpl. Cole and Sgt. Hoff ran approximately 200 yards to their vehicles to retrieve the emergency equipment. Cpl. Bartlett determined Cpl. Hurt was no longer breathing and did not have a pulse. Cpl. Smith and the Kansas City detective began cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Cpl. Bartlett focused on maintaining a proper airway. Cpl. Cole returned with and deployed the AED, which advised a shock be administered. After the shock, Cpl. Bartlett began chest compressions while Cpl. Smith continued rescue breaths. After approximately 10 chest compressions, Cpl. Hurt began coughing and gasping. Cpl. Smith continued assisted breathing and provided 100% oxygen. While this was taking place. Sgt. Hoff was directing ambulance personnel to the scene. At the hospital, the attending physician noted this type of heart attack is commonly referred to as the “widow-maker.” Cpl. Hurt fully recovered.

Corporal Dylan L. DeJournett, Troop E

On June 26, 2021, Corporal Dylan L. DeJournett attended his son’s birthday party at the New Madrid Baptist Church on Scott Street in New Madrid, Missouri. During the birthday event, his wife’s aunt choked on a hot dog and began turning blue. Cpl. DeJournett reacted quickly, went to her location, and administered abdominal thrusts to successfully dislodge the food.

Corporal Kyle E. Easley, Troop B

On May 21, 2021, Corporal Kyle E. Easley was assisting the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Patrol with a domestic assault investigation. An intoxicated, suicidal male barricaded himself inside his vehicle. The officers heard a gunshot and saw that the man had stopped moving. Cpl. Easley and the deputies entered the vehicle and secured the firearm. Cpl. Easley assessed the subject and found he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. The subject had a pulse, but was in respiratory distress due to a sucking chest wound. Cpl. Easley removed the injured male from the vehicle and laid him on the ground. He removed a chest seal from his personal medical kit located on his ceramic plate carrier. When the amount of blood from the wound interfered with the first chest seal, he and the deputies cleaned the area, and Cpl. Easley applied a second seal. The man survived his wound.

Corporal Kaleb F. Jeffers, Troop H

At 12:27 a.m. January 13, 2021, Troop H Communications notified Corporal Kaleb F. Jeffers of a single vehicle crash on Interstate 29, north of Exit 50. The crashed vehicle was originally southbound on Interstate 29, crossed the median and northbound lanes, struck a guardrail, and overturned down an embankment before coming to rest. Cpl. Jeffers arrived at the scene at 12:37 a.m. and went to the vehicle to check the occupants for injuries. The driver had sustained a severe injury to his left arm with arterial bleeding. Cpl. Jeffers quickly returned to his patrol vehicle and retrieved a tourniquet. He applied the tourniquet to the driver’s left arm above the injury, which slowed the bleeding. Cpl. Jeffers continued to administer first aid until paramedics arrived on scene and took over lifesaving efforts. Buchanan County EMS Director of Field Operations Steve Groshong strongly believed Cpl. Jeffers saved the driver’s life.

Sergeant Kurt A. Schmutzler and Corporal Bradley E. Maudlin, both Troop H

At approximately 10:53 p.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021, Troop H Communications notified Sergeant Kurt A. Schmutzler, Troop H, of multiple water rescues/evacuations needed in Amazonia, Missouri, due to flash flooding. Sgt. Schmutzler requested Troop H Corporal Bradley E. Maudlin’s assistance because of his training, even though he was on vacation. One rescue occurred at a residence where the troopers determined it was not beneficial to use a patrol vessel. The troopers used pike poles to find a path through three to four feet of deep, swift moving floodwater for approximately 80 yards to reach the residence. They contacted the men then walked them out of harm’s way following the same path. Cpl. Maudlin and Sgt. Schmutzler later responded to a residence where five subjects needed to be evacuated. The current was strong, and the area posed multiple concerns regarding swift water strainers and other entrapment risks. Cpl. Maudlin and Sgt. Schmutzler walked through water three to four feet deep before coming to a 50-foot section of two-foot deep fast moving current down a driveway to the residence. They utilized a 12-foot, flat bottom, aluminum Jon boat which they found near the residence. Cpl. Maudlin and Sgt. Schmutzler made three trips pulling the Jon boat up the driveway to the water’s edge to safety in order to rescue the five residents. With each trip, the water was deeper and moving more swiftly. In one instance, Cpl. Maudlin prevented the boat from capsizing.

Corporal Dale R. Reuter, Troop H

On Friday, June 25, 2021, Troop H Communications notified Corporal Dale E. Reuter of two occupied vehicles stalled and submerged in flood waters from Wildcat Creek on U.S. Highway 65 in Mercer County, Missouri. Cpl. Reuter parked his patrol vehicle across U.S. 65 to block further northbound traffic from attempting to cross the flooded highway. He then waded through the almost waist-high, swift moving water toward a minivan. Cpl. Reuter and Missouri Department of Transportation personnel removed a young couple from the minivan and placed them in a nearby MoDOT truck. Cpl. Reuter then waded toward the SUV. The water was deeper and flowing faster in this location. With the assistance of a MoDOT big loader, emergency personnel moved an elderly couple from their vehicle to the bucket of the loader. During the rescue, Cpl. Reuter placed himself approximately 15 feet downstream, so he could grab someone if they were swept away. The elderly couple were examined by emergency medical personnel and released.

Corporal Bryan H. Salmons, Troop F

At approximately 10:04 a.m. April 29, 2021, Troop F Communications notified Corporal Bryan H. Salmons of an emergency medical call on U.S. Highway 50 near St. Martins, in Cole County. A motorist had reported a subject appeared to be performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on another subject. A deputy and emergency medical services arrived and took over CPR. Cpl. Salmons responded, assessed the situation, and assisted a deputy with chest compressions. He then assisted with loading the man into the ambulance and transported the man’s distraught wife to the hospital. The man recovered and was later released.

Sergeant David B. Haggett, Q/RCOD

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, Sergeant David B. Haggett, Q/RCOD, and Commercial Vehicle Officer Supervisor I Benjamen L. Towe, Troop E, represented the Patrol at a career event in Malden, MO. During their lunch break, Sgt. Haggett noticed another vendor walking quickly toward their table while pointing to his throat. The man was having difficulty breathing and was gasping for air. Sgt. Haggett quickly responded to his location. When the man indicated he could not breathe, Sgt. Haggett moved behind the man and administered abdominal thrusts until the airway obstruction became dislodged and was expelled. After a few seconds, the man appeared to be breathing normally and stated he did not need emergency medical services to respond to their location to evaluate him. The gentleman later called Troop E Headquarters expressing his gratitude, saying, “If it wasn’t for them, I would not be here today.”

Sergeant Philip D. Hoffman, Q/GD

At approximately 8:28 p.m. January 20, 2021, a casino employee found a woman slumped over in a chair and requested emergency services to respond. A casino first responder arrived on scene and noted the woman was not breathing but did have a pulse. Sergeant Philip D. Hoffman, Q/GD, arrived to assist. The first responder administered NARCAN. The woman’s pulse was strong and bounding, then absent. Thus, cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated. Sgt. Hoffman administered chest compressions while the first responder continued administering rescue breaths using a bag valve mask. Sgt. Hoffman and the first responder continued administering CPR for approximately eight minutes until Lemay Fire Protection Ambulance arrived and took over caring for the patient. The paramedics injected a higher dose of NARCAN, and the woman began to respond. When she eventually regained consciousness, the woman refused medical transport and treatment.

The Meritorious Service Award is presented to employees for exemplary service who performed beyond the call of duty in unusual circumstances.

Corporal Andrew J. Mayer, Troop C

At approximately 11:41 p.m. February 13, 2021, Corporal Andrew J. Mayer, Troop C, was on patrol in Lincoln County, Missouri, on southbound U.S. Highway 61 and Missouri Route U. He observed two vehicles, a Kia Optima and a Hyundai Santa Fe, enter the highway from Route U and accelerate. He checked the vehicles’ speed at 102 mph. Cpl. Mayer then activated his patrol car’s emergency equipment, began to pursue the vehicles, and notified Troop C communications he was in pursuit. During the pursuit, the Kia’s driver first attempted to strike Cpl. Mayer’s patrol car by swerving into his lane. Cpl. Mayer took evasive action and avoided a collision. He then continued his pursuit of the Hyundai. The driver of the Kia then intentionally struck Cpl. Mayer’s patrol car from the rear at over 100 mph. Cpl. Mayer maintained control of his patrol vehicle, but the suspect lost control and came to rest against the front of the patrol car. The Kia then began backing up, nearly striking a Wentzville police officer who had positioned his vehicle in the right lane ahead of the pursuit. The Wentzville police officer fired three rounds from his duty weapon, one of which struck the suspect in the left shoulder. The suspect continued backing up while accelerating and struck the open door of the Wentzville patrol car. Fearing the suspect could cause serious injury or death to the Wentzville police officer, passing motorists, or himself, Cpl. Mayer made the split-second decision to ram the front of the suspect’s vehicle with his patrol car to disable the vehicle. The suspect was handcuffed; then both officers rendered first aid until emergency medical personnel arrived. The suspect was later charged with two counts of assault first degree and felony resisting arrest. Troop C officers located the driver of the Hyundai several hours later. That driver was arrested for felony resisting arrest.

Every year, a civilian of the year is chosen. The 2021 Matilda “Tillie” Sonnen Civilian Of The Year is Criminal Intelligence Analyst Jesse L. McDow, Q/MIAC.

Criminal Intelligence Analyst Jesse L. McDow, Q/MIAC

Criminal Intelligence Analyst Jesse L. McDow works in the Criminal Case Support Unit of the Missouri Information Analysis Center. During 2021, Analyst McDow’s analytical abilities assisted law enforcement with numerous investigations. From incidents posted on the MIAC website and other law enforcement bulletins, Analyst McDow helped identify 36 potential suspects using facial recognition software. One 2021 case involved a high-profile child pornography and sex trafficking investigation. Initially, there were two known victims and two known suspects. Analyst McDow’s analysis of the cell phone and social media data gathered from more than 35 search warrants identified 96 potential victims and an additional five potential suspects. This case has become one of the largest cases Missouri’s State Technical Assistance Team has ever investigated. In another case, Analyst McDow assisted with linking individuals involved in three homicide cases, weapons discharged at homes, unsolved shootings, numerous firearms incidents, and drive by shootings. His analysis of these shootings linked suspects, witnesses, victims, and co-conspirators in a usable association map. The map revealed new paths for the investigation and motives of the suspects. Critically, the map showed two suspects agreeing to meet and travel to Mexico, Missouri, to participate in one of the homicides. While examining the shooting data, Analyst McDow uncovered numerous drug violations, including drug trafficking, that have led to several arrests that otherwise would not have been uncovered. In a forgery case, Analyst McDow located related cases in Troops B, C, D, E, and F. His work led to the suspect’s arrest and helped solve crimes associated with the suspect in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

Every year, an officer of the year is chosen. The 2021 Benjamin Oliver Booth Officer Of The Year is Corporal Evan L. Tyrrell, Q/DDCC.

Corporal Evan L. Tyrrell, Q/DDCC

Since 2016, Corporal Evan L. Tyrrell, Q/DDCC, has served as a part-time forensic investigator in the Digital Forensic Investigative Unit. Throughout 2021, Cpl. Tyrrell was assigned investigations resulting in suspects being arrested for child pornography. In several of the cases, he used an undercover profile of a supposed 14-year-old to locate these predators. One of these suspects confessed to molesting a 14-year-old child in another state. In one case, Cpl. Tyrrell contacted the suspect, obtained a confession, and determined that hundreds of child pornography files had been downloaded. An investigation in Cedar County led him to a residence where a woman confessed after speaking with him. A Carter County investigation involved a 15-year-old child, who was sending and receiving pornographic images with other users on social media applications. When the suspect was questioned, he admitted to molesting his 10-year-old nephew on at least two different occasions. This same investigation led to another suspect who lived in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and worked at a local bank. The suspect was arrested for sending pornographic images of himself to Cpl. Tyrrell’s undercover persona. On September 7, 2021, Cpl. Tyrrell assisted the Texas County Sheriff’s Department with a missing 16-year-old girl. Cpl. Tyrrell’s investigation revealed the 26-year-old suspect and the girl were in the state of California. He contacted the U.S. Marshal’s Service and a short time later, they located the suspect and the missing girl. The missing girl was reunited with her family and the suspect was arrested and later charged with statutory rape and kidnapping. These investigations led to five federal indictments, many of which carry an average sentence of 12 to 15 years in prison.

The Valor Award is presented to an employee who performs an extraordinary act of heroism in a situation involving considerable danger to the employee and the possibility of injury or death to citizens or other officers.

Trooper Zachary D. Davidson and Trooper Tanner L. Wallace, both Troop A

On the evening of October 24, 2020, Cass County deputies requested assistance from the Patrol at an address in Garden City, Missouri, reference a disturbance in progress. Troopers Zachary D. Davidson and Tanner L. Wallace immediately responded. Corporal Bryan J. Hamerle was wearing civilian attire and a passenger in Tpr. Wallace’s patrol vehicle because he was training Tpr. Wallace. Upon their arrival, Troopers Davidson and Wallace parked their patrol vehicles, exited, and walked down the street to locate the correct address. Tpr. Davidson knocked on the door. A female subject with blood on her hands answered. She told the troopers there was a male subject in the residence with a knife. She was removed from the doorway and later transported to Cass Regional Medical Center, where she received treatment for knife wounds to her hands. At this time, Tpr. Davidson observed a male subject armed with a knife standing at the top of a flight of stairs. The man was ordered to drop the knife, but he did not comply. Instead, he came down the stairs and stood in the doorway. Troopers Davidson and Wallace had backed away and continued to attempt to talk to the suspect in order to de-escalate the situation. However, the man charged Tpr. Davidson. Tpr. Davidson and Tpr. Wallace discharged their firearms, striking the man and stopping the threat. After the shots were fired, Cpl. Hamerle separated the knife from the man and instructed Troopers Davidson and Wallace to retrieve their medical kits. Troop A Communications was advised of the incident, and the officers began providing medical assistance until emergency services arrived. The man ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

Sergeant Ryan S. Smith, Troop A
Then-Trooper Bryan Montgomery

Shortly after 9:34 p.m. January 4, 2021, a trooper outside Troop A Headquarters notified Troop A Communications that a man with a black assault rifle had fired at his patrol vehicle in the parking lot. Sergeant Ryan S. Smith and Trooper Bryan W. Montgomery were in the Zone 7 office, which is located within the Troop A Headquarters, when they heard gunfire. Both responded to the upper-level west employee entrance where Tpr. Montgomery observed the armed suspect. Sergeant Smith remained at the employee entrance while Tpr. Montgomery went to warn others of the threat and direct communications personnel to take shelter. Sergeant Smith opened the door and directed the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect raised his weapon in Sergeant Smith’s direction, so the sergeant fired his duty weapon multiple times at the suspect, who then moved toward the front of the headquarters. Sergeant Smith notified communications personnel that shots had been fired and provided the last known location of the suspect. He maintained his position providing security throughout the remainder of the incident. Tpr. Montgomery then moved to an office near the front entrance. He observed the suspect taking cover behind a tree and shouted commands through the closed window. At this point, Lee’s Summit police officers arrived. The suspect then raised his rifle and fired in their general direction. Tpr. Montgomery responded by firing his assigned duty weapon multiple times at the suspect through the closed window. When the suspect turned in Tpr. Montgomery’s general direction, he took cover. When no additional gunfire was heard, Tpr. Montgomery returned to the office window and observed the suspect lying on the ground with the rifle near his feet. Once the suspect was in handcuffs, officers administered first aid until emergency medical services arrived.

Trooper Colton J. Beck, Troop D

At approximately 10:52 p.m. December 10, 2021, Trooper Colton J. Beck, Troop D, attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for running a red traffic signal near U.S. Highway 60 on the south side of Springfield, Missouri. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued. The suspect vehicle traveled into a residential area onto a dead end road. It then traveled off the roadway down a steep embankment for over 100 yards, where it eventually became disabled. Tpr. Beck was unable to follow the suspect vehicle in his patrol car, due to the hazardous terrain. He exited his patrol vehicle and approached the suspect vehicle on the driver’s side. Tpr. Beck gave clear commands to the driver to exit the vehicle. As he approached the driver’s door, the suspect, who was armed with a shotgun, fired a single round through the driver’s side window, striking Tpr. Beck in the face, neck, and upper torso. Although seriously wounded by the shotgun blast, Tpr. Beck courageously returned fire and retreated to a place of tactical advantage. Following the exchange of gunfire, the suspect fled the scene on foot. Tpr. Beck remained calm, provided a description of the suspect, and helped direct responding officers. Tpr. Beck was eventually transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for emergency treatment. The suspect was captured early the next morning after an intensive manhunt.

The Purple Heart Award may be presented to any employee who, under honorable conditions and in the lawful performance of duties, is wounded or injured. This award provides recognition in those extraordinary cases that result in an employee suffering permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment of health, or extremely serious injury requiring considerable loss of time from duty. This evening, we are presenting two Purple Heart Awards.

Trooper Colton J. Beck, Troop D

Trooper Colton J. Beck, Troop D, is receiving a Purple Heart Award for injuries sustained during the December 10, 2021, incident for which he has accepted the Valor Award. Tpr. Beck was eventually transported to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for emergency treatment. He sustained a serious injury to his right eye and underwent emergency eye surgery. Additionally, he suffered pellet wounds that covered his face, head, teeth, neck, and right shoulder. Not all the pellets were able to be removed. As a result of the injury, Tpr. Beck was permanently blinded in his right eye and later underwent enucleation surgery to remove the eye. Following the incident, Tpr. Beck has maintained a positive and grateful attitude through his medical treatments and recovery process. He has since returned to active duty.

Trooper Cory M. Stauffer, Troop I

At 7:28 a.m. February 10, 2021, Trooper Cory M. Stauffer, Troop I, was patrolling Interstate 44 in Laclede County. Due to a severe winter storm, roads were partially covered with snow and ice. When a vehicle passed his location at a high rate of speed, Tpr. Stauffer initiated a traffic stop. The Honda exited the interstate and pulled into a parking lot. After contacting the driver and as he was returning to his vehicle for stop sticks, Tpr. Stauffer heard the Honda start to accelerate. The vehicle then began skidding on the ice and rotating toward Tpr. Stauffer. The vehicle’s front passenger side tire was pointed at him and spinning, as if the driver was attempting to drive over him. Tpr. Stauffer jumped on the hood as the Honda advanced toward him. The Honda, with Tpr. Stauffer partially on the hood and hanging on, was driven into a concrete post in the parking lot, partially lodging Tpr. Stauffer between the Honda, and the post. After the Honda came to a stop from striking the post, the driver fled the scene on foot. Tpr. Stauffer, in extreme pain and lying in a frozen parking lot, was able to utilize his portable radio and provide responding officers a detailed description of the vehicle, registration, and driver, who was arrested a short time later. It was later learned the driver of the Honda had made numerous statements that he was going to kill any law enforcement he encountered. Tpr. Stauffer suffered a broken pubic bone in two locations and sustained an injury to his knee. He endured weeks of intense physical therapy, and his injuries required him to be off work for nearly six months. He has returned to active duty.