Details emerge in Warrensburg Police shooting

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By STEVE GANEY
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) –A Missouri State Highway Patrol investigation report reveals a fuller picture regarding the circumstances of a police raid and subsequent fatal shooting of a local man.

A Warrensburg Police officer shot and killed Beau Appleton, 57, inside his home at 406 Ninth Street Terrace in front of his wife while serving a “no knock” search warrant, while Appleton’s two teenage daughters were in nearby rooms, according the Highway Patrol report.
The incident occurred April 18 as police served the warrant in search of firearms and narcotics. However, no details about the shooting, who was home at the time or what was found during the raid were released.
DigitalBURG submitted a Sunshine Law request in late August to obtain the Highway Patrol investigation report and received the report in late October. The report revealed that a total of 10 shots were fired by an officer. An autopsy found five bullets inside Appleton’s body.
At approximately 10:45 p.m., a Special Emergency Response Team member broke open the front door of the residence using a ram and two officers entered, according to the report. One officer set off a flashbang grenade inside, while another was deployed outside.
The officers reportedly saw Appleton in the room pointing a double-barreled shotgun in their direction. Appleton’s wife, Peneca, was lying in a bed between Appleton and the officers. While the officers gave commands to drop the weapon, Appleton fired, blowing a hole in the front door behind them, according to the report.
One of the officers then fired at Appleton with his UMP .40-caliber weapon.
The names of the officers involved have been withheld at the request of the Police Department due to the sensitive nature of their work as narcotics investigators, and for the security of the officers and their families.
After the shooting, an officer began CPR while another called for an ambulance. Johnson County Ambulance District personnel arrived and attempted to revive Appleton, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the report.
Upon searching the residence, police found Appleton’s two teenage daughters in separate rooms. One of them was taken into custody in plastic zip-tie handcuffs.
A small dog was also killed in the kitchen, although the report did not indicate how the dog had been shot.
Officers also reportedly broke several windows and a flat-screen television.
Investigators found another shotgun in the home, as well as a plastic bag containing a small amount of a “green leafy substance,” according to the report. The precise amount was not stated, but the substance was taken to the Highway Patrol for weighing and testing, according to Chief Bruce Howey in an email. The chief said other firearms were found, but they cannot release any details because additional charges are pending.
Following the incident, the officer who fired the fatal shots was reassigned to office duties pending an internal investigation by the Warrensburg Police Department, and an external investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Howey said the officer returned to duty after Johnson County Prosecutor Lynn Stoppy reviewed the Highway Patrol reports and determined that no charges would be filed for the shooting.