Joplin man who shot 5 found not guilty by reason of insanity

S Connecticut In Joplin August 2016

JOPLIN, Mo. – A judge finds a Joplin man, who shot five people and two dogs in 2016, not guilty by reason of insanity.

Attorneys for 31-year-old Tom Mourning Jr. argued that he is schizophrenic and didn’t know what he was doing when he shot at two vehicles. All the victims survived.

2016 Shootings

On August 13, 2016, Mourning opened fire at multiple locations, leaving several people and two dogs injured.

The shootings started at Mourning’s home on South Connecticut Street where he lived with his father. Police say Mourning fired a gun and his dad fled the home on foot. No one was injured during that shooting.

Officers responded to the home and saw a vehicle driving away.

As the vehicle approached 32nd and Connecticut, police say they heard several gunshots coming from the vehicle. Mourning had fired toward an Immanuel Lutheran Church van. Five people and two comfort dogs were inside. The bullets hit or grazed three people, one of which was hospitalized in serious condition. One of the dogs was hit and underwent surgery, the other was grazed by a bullet.

Then, near 32nd and Texas Avenue, Mourning fired at a truck with two people inside. Both received injuries.

According to police, Mourning then continued to the area of 30th and Pearl, where he got out. Authorities arrested him there without incident.

Not Guilty Plea

Mourning had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Following last week’s hearing, Judge Gayle Crane agreed with the plea.

The Jasper County prosecutor’s office did not oppose the plea. Assistant Jasper County Attorney Kimberly Fisher said all doctors who evaluated Mourning believed he was mentally ill at the time of the shootings.

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