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Missouri officer is fatally shot and a 2nd is seriously wounded; hourslong standoff with suspect ends

Hermann Detective Sgt. Mason Griffith died at a hospital after he was shot at a convenience store in the small town Sunday night.
/ Source: Associated Press

HERMANN, Mo. — A Missouri police officer was fatally shot and a second officer was seriously wounded in an overnight shooting that was followed by an hourslong police standoff with the suspect, authorities said.

The Missouri Highway Patrol announced early Monday that Detective Sgt. Mason Griffith with the Hermann Police Department died of his injuries at a hospital after being shot at a convenience store in the small town about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

The highway patrol said a second Hermann officer who was shot remains hospitalized in serious condition. Highway patrol spokesman Cpl. Kyle Green told Fox affiliate KTVI of St. Louis the wounded officer was brought to a hospital in the city for treatment.

Herrman Police Dept. Det. Mason Griffith.
Herrman Police Detective Sgt. Mason Griffith.Missouri State Highway Patrol

Authorities have not released details describing what led to the shooting or said whether officers returned fire.

NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis reported the highway patrol identified the shooting suspect as Kenneth Lee Simpson, 35, of Eureka, Missouri, and that police were involved in an apparent manhunt near a house in Hermann along Highway 19, not far from the convenience store where the shooting happened.

Police surrounded the home and yelled at the alleged gunman to come outside. Officers earlier had searched near a motel in Hermann, where Simpson and his girlfriend may have rented a room Sunday, the Post-Dispatch reported.

About 2 p.m., the highway patrol said the suspect exited the home and was taken into custody by agency SWAT officers.

"This will remain an active scene and the area should be avoided," the highway patrol tweeted.

Online Missouri court records show Simpson faced previous criminal charges involving drugs, weapons offenses, assault and property damage. A St. Louis County judge issued a warrant for his arrest in August when Simpson failed to show up in court in a drug possession case, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson offered condolences to slain officer's family.

"Hermann Police Department Detective Sergeant Mason Griffith will never be forgotten, and Missouri will always be grateful," Parson tweeted. "Teresa and I are praying for Mason’s family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers."

Hermann, about 40 miles west of St. Louis, is the county seat of Gasconade County and has a population of about 2,100.