Every patrol officer in Springfield wears a body-worn camera on the front of his/her uniform. Camera usage began at the start of 2021. (Photo by Rance Burger)

Springfield police officers were involved in a shooting on the afternoon of Feb. 1 at Tom Watkins Park, resulting in the death of a Springfield resident.

The officers were sent to the park, located at 2100 W. High St. in northwest Springfield, to check on the well-being of Justin M. Barker, 33, making suicidal statements, according to a news release.

Barker told the officers he had a gun and proceeded to point it at them, despite their orders for him to drop it. 

The officers then fired their handguns at Barker, striking him several times. While awaiting paramedics, the officers attempted to perform life-saving measures. Barker’s family has been notified of his death.

An internal investigation has been opened by SPD’s Criminal Investigation Division and the four officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. Once completed, the results will be reviewed by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

Anyone who has additional information is encouraged to contact SPD at 417-864-1810 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 417-869-TIPS (8477).

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the business and economic development reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and elections for the Citizen. Before that, he worked at documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and Missouri State University’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at jmcgee@sgfcitizen.org or (417) 719-5129. More by Jack McGee