Police Officer and Court Worker Murdered Over Home Eviction

(RepublicanJournal.org) – Two people have died and two more were injured after a Missouri man opened fire during an attempted eviction. One of the dead was a court worker and the other a local police officer. The suspected perpetrator is now in jail and has been charged with the killings.

Around 1 p.m. on February 29, process server Drexel Mack and another process server from Jackson County Circuit Court visited a home in Independence, Missouri, to evict 68-year-old Larry Acree for non-payment of taxes. It wasn’t the first time the process servers had been there; the eviction process had been running since last February. This time it had a tragic ending.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Mack and his colleague knocked on the door and called out to any occupants, but got no response. They then removed the locks and entered the house — and Acree, who had been inside, opened fire, hitting Mack. Local residents called police to report shots fired, and three officers soon arrived, moved in, and tried to rescue the injured man but Acree fired at them too, killing Officer Cody Allen and injuring the others. Finally, more police responded and were able to shoot and arrest Acree, but Mack died from his wounds in the hospital. The injured police officers are expected to recover.

Acree is now being held on a $2 million bond and has been charged with two counts of murder and one of assault. Baker said more charges are likely to follow. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is running the investigation; the Jackson County court said it won’t be handling Acree’s prosecution because one of its own officials was a victim.

Tributes to the victims quickly circulated online, including a post from Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) and another from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (D), where Drexel came from. Independence mayor Rory Rowland (D) said the city “grieves the passing of two dedicated guardians and public servants.”

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