A second Missouri cop — remembered as “care-free” and “loving” — died after suffering injuries in a shooting earlier in the week, local police announced Saturday.
The Joplin, Mo. officer, Jake Reed, died Friday after a shooting Tuesday in the southwest Missouri city left him hospitalized.
“Yesterday evening Officer Jake Reed continued his service to others as his vital organs were escorted to the airport and flown across the country to give life to others,” the police department wrote in a Facebook post.
“The department escorted Jake’s body to the funeral home past many citizens who exited their vehicles in the roadway and held hands over hearts or saluted us as we passed,” it went on. “May God and our community be with Officer Reed’s family and the recipients of his gifts of life last night.”
Reed, 27, joined the police department in 2017. The department transported Reed’s body to a funeral home Friday evening, when many Joplin residents saluted the procession as it passed by them, according to Joplin police.
Reed’s high school baseball coach in Arkansas remembered the fallen officer as “care-free” and “loving.”
“He was always smiling and laughing,” Tom Abbot — the baseball coach at Bentonville High School where Reed graduated in 2013 — told The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “The smile … that’s what stands out to me the most. Seeing that smile of his.”
“It’s tragic,” Abbott reportedly added. “There’s a loving, care-free guy serving his community and starting his career, and his life is tragically cut short.”
“He always was smiling or someone was with him laughing. I know he’s loved and he’s going to be missed.”
A 19-year Joplin police officer, Corporal Benjamin Cooper, was also killed in Tuesday’s incident, authorities previously announced. The third officer who was shot, Rick Hirshey, was in serious but stable condition.
The Tuesday shooting came when officers responded to a disturbance about 1:30 p.m. outside a store at the Northpark Crossing shopping center, Assistant Police Chief Brian Lewis said in a press release. Shots were exchanged and two officers were injured, he said.
The suspect — 40-year-old Anthony Felix — stole a police car and fled, before crashing the car and fleeing on foot, police said. Officers then chased him to a street near an apartment complex and residential area in central Joplin.
There, another officer and the suspect were struck by gunfire. Authorities said Capt. William Davis fatally shot Felix, who reportedly had a lengthy criminal history.
With Post wires