Joplin Police arrest shooting suspect in wooded area along railroad tracks; Same man mentioned in an MSSU Alert Wednesday

Richard E. McWhirt, 42, of Joplin, is charged in the shooting of a man in the Sunnyvale Neighborhood on July 16.
Richard McWhirt, 42, mugshot courtesy Joplin Police Dept. Background is the location of the arrest in a wooded area along Kansas City Southern tracks, south of Lowe's. July 28, 2022.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Shortly after 12 p.m. Thursday a Detective Sergeant with JPD saw a man wanted in related to a recent shooting, near the area of 30th and S Rangeline. Officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter and were able to take wanted man into custody without incident.

Capt William Davis tells us on scene, “We got him.”

It was the early morning hours of July 16 when a man suffered gunshot wounds at 3424 S. Finley Ave in the Sunnyvale Neighborhood of Joplin.  He was rushed to an area hospital where he recovered.

The suspect was identified as Richard E. McWhirt, 42, of Joplin.  Newton County Prosecutor filed charges this week, prior to McWhirt’s arrest today.

  • Assault in the 1st Degree and
  • Felony Armed Criminal Action

>> RELATED > BREAKING NEWS >> Joplin Police Shooting Investigation in Sunnyvale Neighborhood

McWhirt was taken into custody in the wooded area southwest of Lowe’s in Joplin.  


McWhirt is the unnamed person mentioned yesterday in an email to staff and students at MSSU.

MSSU Alert on Wednesday:An individual wanted [in a shooting] and multiple vehicle thefts in Joplin, was spotted walking through campus today between 4:00 and 5:00 PM. Described as a white male approx. 5’6″, bald, goatee, tattoos on both arms, tattoo on neck, flame tattoo running up the back of his neck. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, dark colored shorts, red shoes, and white sunglasses. The suspect stole a vehicle from the Dollar General store on 7th St. in Duquesne.  The individual has stolen multiple vehicles which had been left running and unoccupied. You should not leave your vehicle running or unlocked on campus. “
Text screenshot

MSSU ALERT cancelled shortly after Richard McWhirt was taken into custody Thursday.

That stolen vehicle was a grey KIA passenger car.  It was recovered near 30th and Park Ave in the early hours of Thursday morning.  Joplin Police set a perimeter for about an hour and deployed their infrared drone. A female was detained officers told us on scene.

Car stolen from Dollar General mentioned in MSSU ALERT Wednesday. Recovered just before 1 a.m.

Capt Davis says, “The investigation is still continuing and further updates may be released.”

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2nd UPDATE- Press Release- Shooting Investigation- July 16th 2022

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