Monday, April 1, 2024

On Saturday, March 30th, 2024, at approximately 6:15 am, dispatch received a call in reference to a male subject who was shot while at his residence in Rich Hill Missouri. The victim was being transported to the Bates County Memorial Hospital by a family member. The victim and the on scene witnesses identified the shooter as Leon Berry of Rich Hill. The witness information stated that after the shooting, Berry, still armed with a pistol, fled the house on foot. The victim was flown to a trauma hospital in Kansas City with non-life threatening injuries.

A search of the area began immediately by deputies. Leads began to be developed as information was put out to the public. Every deputy of the Sheriff’s Office and Rich Hill Police Department were called out from home to help in the search and to follow up on leads. Extra dispatcher came in to help. Empty houses, garages and sheds were searched in an attempt to locate Berry. Known associates, previous vehicles, and previous residences were identified and located. Assistance was requested from Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol when a lead came in that Berry may have been seen in Richard’s Missouri. A team of Bates County Deputies responded to assist Vernon County and MSHP in Richard’s Mo.
At approximately 10:15am incident command had a citizen inform them that they had information of a potential sighting of Berry just west of Rich Hill City limits. A small team of Deputies arrived and observed Berry jump a fence with a handgun in his hand. Deputies confronted him at gun point at which point Berry turned the gun on himself holding it to his head. Berry had reportedly told people that he was going to commit “suicide by cop”, to prevent returning to jail.
A team of Bates County Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiators arrived on scene and began talking with Berry. After approximately 10 minutes, Berry dropped his gun and was taken into custody without incident. Berry was transported to the Bates County Jail pending a finalized investigation.
A search warrant for the residence of the shooting was applied for and received to process the crime scene. Detectives are currently on scene processing that scene for evidence.
Berry currently has an active warrant for unlawful use of a weapon and possession of narcotics with a bond of $30,000.
Once the investigation is complete charges will the forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office for review.
“Today I observed multiple agencies come together with citizens for a single purpose, To Protect and Serve our Community. I want to say Thank You to Rich Hill Police Department, Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri Highway Patrol and all the deputies who came from home to help.” Says Sheriff Anderson.


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