Southern family mourns loss of new assistant coach

Derek Moore

Derek Moore

Ian Taylor

A homecoming weekend that was supposed to be fun-filled and joyous has quickly turned horrific for the members of the Missouri Southern family following the news of a shooting late Friday night.  A shooting that police later revealed to involve the death of Assistant Coach Derek Moore, a first year member of the Lions coaching staff.  And after news of the tragedy spread throughout the football team some players took to social media to pay their respects.

“Having the worst feeling after getting that text from coach earlier about this shooting,” said senior Anthony Westfield via Twitter in the early hours of the morning.

“The only dude who saw something in me and tried his best to get it out of me……The one who really gave a damn…RIP COACH MOORE,” said junior Donnell Chapman via Twitter as well.

According to police a call was made around 9:50 p.m. reporting shots fired outside of Hollywood Northstar 14 Theatre in Joplin.  Police from Joplin, Duquesne, Jasper County Sherriff’s Department, and the Missouri State Highway patrol were dispatched to the scene where the Duquesne Police Department was able to apprehend suspect Jeffery Bruner at approximately 9:52 p.m.

Bruner, a 39-year-old male, is currently in custody and being held in the Joplin City Jail for murder.

Police have not released all information surrounding the case but made it clear last night that they presume this to be a targeted shooting.

“It is important to know that we believe this is a targeted event, not just a random shooting,” said Joplin police Lt. Matt Stewart.  A notion he says is based on, “Some of the information we have received from the officers that have been here talking to witnesses.”

Moore had been transported to a local hospital in critical condition but later succumbed to the injuries suffered late last night. 

Moore came to Missouri Southern following three seasons coaching for Western Illinois University as part of his 14 year coaching career.  This season Moore had helped to build the number one ranked rushing attack in the MIAA as an offensive line assistant for the Lions.

Moore was 37 years old and leaves behind a 7-year-old son.

“The Missouri Southern athletics community is deeply sadden by the events that have occurred,” said Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman. “Our priority is to make sure we are there for our student-athletes, coaches and support staff in whatever way necessary.”

A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 at Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall. Southern Interim President Alan Marble will speak at the event, along with Bruggeman and Head Football Coach Daryl Daye. The service is open to the community, students, staff and alumni

Southern has plans in the works for a candlelight vigil on the MSSU campus this Monday.

No other changes to the schedule have been released at this time.