Kirksville community alerted of more crime

The Kirksville Police Department responded to a report of an occupied vehicle that had been shot at with a firearm at the 1200 block of South Baird Street. Earlier last week, The Truman State University community was notified about the theft of a motor vehicle from the Campbell Apartments parking lot, which was later located in Iowa. The next day, the Truman community was sent another crime report email about a home invasion on East Scott Street. The following Sunday, a police standoff occurred on West Patterson Street between Kirksville police and the suspect from the Oct. 23 shooting. On Oct. 29, an email was sent out about the attempted robbery at BNB. 

Director of Public Safety Sara Seifert said in an email statement to The Index that Emergency notifications like TruAlert have a wide focus on any significant emergency or dangerous situation, and the decision to issue a TruAlert is made on a case-by-case basis after consideration of all the available facts at the time of the incident. 

“TruAlerts are generally issued in response to an impending natural disaster or in response to reported crimes that are actively occurring on campus,” Seifert said. “Some incidents that would be considered for TruAlerts would be [an] active shooter, tornados, chemical spills, criminal homicide, armed robbery and arson. All decisions are made in compliance with the Clery Act and provide members of the community with the necessary information to make decisions regarding their own safety and the security of their property.” 

Seifert said if there is not a threat to the campus community, then no alert will be issued. For example, if an arrest is made and there is no ongoing threat to the campus, no alerts will be sent out. If an event occurs off campus and involves neighboring law enforcement agencies where there is no immediate or ongoing threat to the University, no TruAlert would be sent out.

“I don’t want the crime alerts that are sent out by the Truman State University Police Department to be mistaken for an emergency notification either,” Seifert said. “Crime alerts, timely warnings, have a very narrow scope and focus on only Clery Act crimes. These alerts are triggered by crimes that have already occurred but represent an ongoing threat to the University campus. Emergency notifications, TruAlerts, have a wide focus and are triggered by an event that is currently occurring on or imminently threatening the campus.” 

Kirksville Police Department Lieutenant Mark Wellman said, ”[These] are different crimes than what we experience, but they are the types of crimes that the [Kirksville] Police Department occasionally expects to investigate.” 

He also said the increase in emails from KPD could be related to a change in administration.  

“We have not seen any increase on crimes on campus,” Seifert said. “Our calls for service have increased, but the types of crimes we generally respond to, which are thefts and vandalism, have remained the same.” 

Motor theft

Director of Public Safety Sara Seifert sent an email to students, faculty and staff the morning of Thursday, Oct. 24 alerting them of a theft of a motor vehicle from the Campbell Apartments parking lot.

A 2009 Red Pontiac G5, with Missouri License plate EA1R7F, was stolen from the parking lot sometime between Oct. 20 at 9:30 a.m. and Oct. 22 at 6:15 p.m. The car has a red Truman State University parking sticker with the number 617.

“Motor vehicle thefts are not common at Truman, however, they do happen from time to time,” Seifert wrote in an email statement to The Index. “This is only the third motor vehicle Truman has had stolen from campus in the seven years I have been here.”

On Friday, Oct. 25, the vehicle was located in Fairfield, Iowa, 87 miles away. DPS is continuing to investigate this incident.

Wednesday shooting, standoff 

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, The Kirksville Police Department responded to a report of an occupied vehicle that had been shot at with a firearm at the 1200 block of South Baird Street. 

Police have identified a suspect in the shooting as Douglas Garrett of Novelty, Missouri. Warrants have been issued for Garrett for unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and attempted assault in the 2nd degree. A statement from one of Garrett’s crime reports described him as armed and dangerous.

Witnesses reported a white male approached the victim’s car and fired one shot to the exterior of the vehicle. No injuries were reported in the initial report. 

During the investigation, police believed there was a possible third person present at the incident who was sitting in the victim’s vehicle. Police believe this individual was struck by the fired shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. 

Police have attempted to make contact with the third person, but have not been able to locate them potentially because of active warrants for their arrest. 

The Truman State University Department of Public Safety made a post to its social media accounts on the night of Oct. 27 stating there was no threat to campus after Garrett was arrested near the University. 

The social media post states that the Kirksville Police Department made a felony traffic stop on a street near campus that resulted in an armed suspect being arrested. The post concluded by restating there was no current safety threat to campus. 

According to a statement from the Kirksville Police Department released the following morning, KPD officers conducted a traffic stop at the 300 block of West Patterson Street around 9:40 p.m. The officers observed Douglas Garrett of Hurdland, Missouri, in a vehicle with a handgun. Garrett began negotiating his surrender, and after about 20 minutes of negotiation, officers took him into custody.

Garrett was arrested by Kirksville police for hindering prosecution and having warrants for unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Home invasion 

On Saturday, Oct. 26 at around 9 p.m., six males entered a residence at 407 East Scott Street demanding money. The suspects were reported to have been wearing ski masks and at least one had a compact handgun. They assaulted a resident, stole money and fled the scene. 

At 11 p.m. that night, the Truman State University Department of Public Safety sent out an email to students to alert them of the burglary, warning them to be aware of their surroundings and to never resist giving up property when threatened by an individual with a weapon. 

Mecca Owens was the only individual arrested from the scene, and he was charged with first degree robbery, first degree burglary, armed criminal action, carrying a prohibited weapon and resisting arrest/detention/stop by fleeing. 

Kirksville Police Department Lieutenant Mark Wellman said he would not be able to comment on this incident because it had moved to a prosecutor.

Blanton-Nason-Brewer Hall Alert 

Sara Seifert, Truman State University Department of Public Safety director, sent an email to Truman State University students, faculty and staff at 8:28 p.m. Tuesday night stating that police responded to an attempted robbery in the Blanton-Nason-Brewer Hall parking lot at 6:30 p.m. 

A delivery driver parked in the lot was delivering food to students in BNB and returned to his vehicle to find a male going through it. He confronted the suspect and an altercation took place. The suspect was reported to have a knife. 

The suspect fled the scene on foot toward Ryle Hall. The victim received minor injuries. 

The victim described the suspect as a middle-aged white male, approximately 5’10, skinny build, with short dark hair and a short beard. He was wearing jeans, a dark coat and was carrying a backpack.

The incident is currently under investigation by DPS as of Tuesday night. Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Truman State University police at (660) 665-5621.

The email also advised students and staff to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to never resist giving up their property when confronted by an individual with a weapon.