Police officer and process server killed during eviction in Missouri

Suspect Larry Acree, 69, is being held on a $2m bond following the shocking incident in Independence

Dan Gooding
Friday 01 March 2024 23:45 GMT
Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Independence Missouri on 29 February 2024
Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Independence Missouri on 29 February 2024 (ABC News/KMBC)

A Missouri police officer and court official were shot dead by a man as they served eviction papers at his home.

Officer Cody Allen, 35, was described as a “hero” following the shocking incident at the property in Independence, Missouri, on Thursday.

Officer Allen and server Drexel Mack had gone to the home of Larry Acree, 69, to serve him the eviction notice when they were fatally shot.

The pair, and other officers, had announced their presence but there was no answer from inside the property, officials said. So they removed the locks and entered the home and that was when Mr Acree allegedly opened fire.

Mr Allen and Mr Mack were struck and killed, while two other officers were injured as they tried to help them.

Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Independence Police Chief Adam Dustman paid tribute to his fallen officer, who had spent over a decade serving with the department.

“He did exactly what the men and women of law enforcement are called to do day in and day out. And I could not be more proud of him and his service to this community,” Chief Dustman said.

Visibly shaken at a different press conference, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said it was another loss for the police department.

“There are widows and children and moms that lost somebody really important to them,” Ms Baker said.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker detailed the charges against Larry Acree during a news conference Friday, 1 March 2024 (AP)

The official said it appeared Mr Acree was being evicted over unpaid taxes and that the process had begun in February 2023.

“We are devastated that a court employee, who is a public servant, was shot by a member of the public while performing their job,” Presiding Judge Jalilah Otto said. “Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts are with our employee, our entire court family, and the Independence Police Department.”

Officials managed to take the suspect into custody and charged Mr Acree with two counts of murder and one count of assault. He is being held on a $2m bond and is in hospital.

Officer Allen is survived by his wife, two children and his parents, while Mr Mack is survived by his fiance.

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