2015 Tyrone shooting

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2015 Tyrone shooting
LocationTyrone, Missouri
DateFebruary 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)
Attack type
Mass shooting, mass murder, murder-suicide
Weapons.45-caliber Rock Island Armory 1911 handgun[1]
Deaths8 (including the perpetrator)
Injuries
1
PerpetratorJoseph Jesse Aldridge[2]

On February 26, 2015, a gunman shot and killed seven people in several locations across the town of Tyrone, Missouri, an unincorporated community approximately 95 miles east of Springfield. The gunman, identified as 36-year-old Joseph Jesse Aldridge, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound the next day. It was the worst mass murder in the history of Texas County, which previously had experienced an average of one homicide per year.

Shootings[edit]

Police were alerted to the shootings at 10:15 p.m. CT Thursday, when a 15-year-old girl ran to a neighbor's home to say she heard gunshots in her home and fled. Deputies responded and found her parents, Garold and Julie Aldridge, dead inside the home. A few miles away, officers found Garold's brother Harold and his wife Janell shot to death inside their bedroom. As a result, police began checking all of the houses in Tyrone, urging citizens to stay inside their residences and lock their doors.

Less than three miles away, Darrell and Martha Shriver were both shot in their home. While Darrell died from his wounds, Martha survived and managed to identify the suspect as Joseph Jesse Aldridge as she was being taken to a hospital in Springfield. She also had a relative check on the well-being of her son Carey and his family. The relative found Carey and his wife Valirea dead on the floor of their bedroom, and their son sleeping unharmed in another bedroom.[3][4][5][6] The entire shooting spree occurred within a three-mile radius of Tyrone.[7] All of the crime scenes showed no signs of forced entry into the homes.[8]

An elderly woman connected to the shootings died from natural causes.[9] Authorities believe the gunman started the shooting spree after finding his mother, the aforementioned elderly woman, dead on a couch from an illness for which she had been under a doctor's care,[10] though this was unconfirmed.[11] The disease was clarified in an autopsy to be metastatic lung cancer,[12] although according to the woman's brother, it was breast cancer.[13] A relative feared the woman did not die from the disease, and had instead been smothered to death by Aldridge.[14] The woman was identified as 74-year-old Alice L. Aldridge.[15]

At around 5:30 a.m. on February 27, the gunman was found dead inside a pickup truck situated in the middle of a two-lane highway.[16][17] He was southeast of Summersville in neighboring Shannon County, located about fifteen or twenty miles away from the scenes of the shootings. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier that day.[18][7][19][14] A Rock Island Armory 1911 .45-caliber handgun, believed to be the same one used in the shootings, was recovered from the truck along with a stash of ammunition.[11][3] The shootings were the worst mass murder in the history of Texas County, Missouri, which had an average of one homicide per year.[18]

Perpetrator and victims[edit]

Perpetrator[edit]

Joseph Aldridge
Born
Joseph Jesse Aldridge

c. 1979
DiedFebruary 27, 2015 (aged 36)
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot wound
NationalityAmerican

Joseph Jesse Aldridge (c. 1979 – February 27, 2015) was identified as the gunman in the shootings.[2] He was a cousin of the named male victims.[5] On June 15, 2007, Aldridge was arrested in Howell County for felony marijuana possession, during which he was found to have a Ruger 22/45 .22-caliber pistol in his possession. On May 2, 2008, he was sentenced to 21 months in a federal prison for owning the pistol. He was released three years later, though a judge added six months of his arrest to his sentence in 2011 at the request of Aldridge's probation officer. He was also ordered to undergo mental health and substance abuse counseling. Aldridge was known to local law enforcement, although his criminal history was described as minor. His record at the time of the shooting barred him from owning guns.[3][20][12][21]

Aldridge was described as a recluse by relatives. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that he was involved in a feud with a cousin, who was one of the victims in the shootings, and that Aldridge and several other members of his extended family were having tense relations between one another following a fistfight involving Aldridge's brother.[14] The Aldridge family was also said to have had a feud with the Shriver family that lasted for years.[22] According to a relative of the Shriver family and other residents of Tyrone, Aldridge had asked Darrell Shriver, one of the slain victims and a neighbor of his, for a job at a cabinet store he owned prior to the shootings, but was turned down. He had also reportedly threatened to kill other residents.[6][17]

Victims[edit]

All of the victims in the shooting were adults,[19] and in total, they made up around 10 percent of the town's entire population.[22] In the hours after the shootings, four of the seven casualties were identified by police, while the others were identified by relatives and friends before being confirmed by police. They are:[3][23][24]

Name Age Relationship
Garold Dee Aldridge 52 Joseph Aldridge's cousin
Julie Ann Aldridge 47 Garold Aldridge's wife
Harold Wayne Aldridge 50 Garold Aldridge's brother
Joseph Aldridge's cousin[11]
Janell Arlisa Aldridge 48 Harold Aldridge's wife
Darrell Dean Shriver 68 Joseph Aldridge's neighbor[12]
Martha Shriver 67[12] Darrell Shriver's wife
Survived her gunshot wounds
Carey Dean Shriver 46 Darrell and Martha Shriver's son
Joseph Aldridge's neighbor[12]
Valirea Love Shriver 44 Carey Shriver's wife

Reactions[edit]

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon made a statement on the shootings, saying, "This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of these senseless acts and their families." He added that crisis counseling will be made available to Tyrone citizens.[25] Houston Mayor Don Tottingham also said, "This is a terrible tragedy in a community that's real close-knit. This is a great town, and this is why it's such a tragedy because it shows you're vulnerable to things."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "8 Shot to Death, Including Gunman, in Missouri Rampage". ABC News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Eight killed, including suspect, in apparent murder-suicide". Houston Herald. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Missouri murder spree shatters tiny community's comfort zone". Yahoo! News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "Nine Found Dead, Including Gunman, After Missouri Shooting Spree: Police". NBC News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Family members of shooter among 7 slain by Missouri gunman who then killed himself". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Tiny Missouri town mourns after gunman kills 7, then himself". Yahoo! News. February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Officers release 4 names, out of 7 murder victims, plus shooter's name". KY3. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on March 1, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "Why? Unsolved piece to Mo. mass murders". THV11. March 4, 2015. Archived from the original on August 5, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  9. ^ "8 dead, including gunman, at multiple scenes in Missouri, police say". FOX News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "Gunman Kills Seven, Himself in Shooting Spree in Tyrone, Missouri: Police [UPDATE]". Riverfront Times. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Tiny Missouri Town Is Reeling After Gunman Kills Seven Neighbors". The New York Times. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Investigators search for what triggered Missouri rampage". Reuters. February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  13. ^ "TYRONE SHOOTING: Domestic violence takes its toll on a small town". KSPR News. February 28, 2015. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "Missouri killing spree may have been sparked by family feud: reports". New York Daily News. February 28, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "Missouri gunman kills 7, including cousins, in 4-home shooting spree likely after finding mom dead: coroner". New York Daily News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "Tiny Missouri town mourns after gunman kills 7, then himself". WJCL News. February 28, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Motive still a mystery in Tyrone mass shooting". Springfield News-Leader. March 1, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "8 shot to death, including gunman, in house-to-house Missouri rampage". Chicago Tribune. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Eight dead in series of shootings in Missouri". BBC News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  20. ^ "Shocked uncle talks about nephew accused of killing 7 near Tyrone". KSPR News. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on March 2, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "God, Guns, and the Mass Shooting in Tyrone, Missouri". Vice News. March 10, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Pictured: The loving parents killed as their son slept next door by gunman who slaughtered SEVEN 'in petty family feud over a job'". Daily Mail. March 1, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  23. ^ "UPDATE: Gunman, Victims Named in Texas Co. Mass Murder". Ozarks First. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on March 1, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "Authorities ID remaining 3 shooting victims from Tyrone". KMBC-TV. February 28, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  25. ^ "Police: 7 fatally shot, gunman dead in southeastern Missouri". Yahoo! News. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015.