Plea entered in theater shooting

Shooting suspect Jeffrey Bruner entered a plea of not guilty in court on Nov. 7.

The Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office had filed charges including Class A felony murder and armed criminal action with bond denied against Bruner.

 According to the Joplin Police report, Bruner shot Derek Moore, offensive line assistant  coach  of the  Missouri Southern football team, multiple times.

The police report also included that Bruner confronted Moore in the parking lot of the Northstar 14 theaters, 201 N. Northpark Lane, around 9:50 p.m. on Nov. 1 as he left the theater.  

Lt. Matt Stewart, support services with the Joplin Police Department, said the investigation is ongoing, but provided some insight on Bruner’s motive. “Well, we know that Mr. Moore was at the movie theater with Mr. Bruner’s estranged wife,” said Stewart. “They were together whenever Mr. Bruner confronted them.”

According to the police report, Bruner is currently separated from his wife, Dawn Michele Bruner. Witnesses said Jeffrey Bruner shot Moore and continued to shoot him after he fell to the ground.

Following the shooting, Bruner returned the weapon to his vehicle. Witnesses detained Bruner at the scene until officers arrived and took him into custody.

A Duquesne police officer was first to arrive on scene. He placed Bruner under arrest at approximately 9:52 p.m. without incident.

Stewart said the Joplin Police Department is not releasing the number of shots fired, the make and model of the pistol or the name of the person the pistol is registered to.

Dawn Michele Bruner is an officer with Southern’s police department. She is currently on voluntary leave from the University.

Jeffrey Bruner is next scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, Nov. 27.