While the Joplin Globe was unable to get much information on the church shootings from officials with the Newton County Sheriff's Department, KOAM had much more success with Neosho Police Chief David McCracken, including the information that the shootings are likely related to an incident that happened the previous evening:
No charges have been filed at this time according to McCracken.McCracken said the gunman had two small-caliber handguns and one 9 mm semi-automatic machine pistol with a large magazine. The shooting followed the 1 p.m. service, which is held in Spanish.
About 50 people, ranging in age from children to the elderly, were in the church at the time of the shooting.The gunman surrendered to authorities after about 10 minutes of negotiation.
"At the time that the rescue attempt was successful we had approximately 20 people in the sanctuary still," he said. "We had some people who escaped the crime scene prior to the police arrival that were wounded, and we had some people escape during the process and at the time of the rescue." He said no one was injured during the arrest.
McCracken said he could not confirm if the gunman was a member of the church. But he said an incident involving the suspect and a family that attended the First Congregational Church on Saturday night fueled the incident Sunday.
The reporter for the KOAM story was not listed on its website. The KODE/KSNF website had a brief bulletin on the story which was attributed to KODE anchor Brian Hamman.