Tahlequah Daily Press

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November 4, 2013

Police say football coach murdered by acquaintance

JOPLIN, Mo. — An assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University was gunned down in a movie theater parking lot Friday night, prompting the school to cancel homecoming.

Derek Moore, 37, in his first year as offensive line coach of the Missouri Southern Lions, died from injuries he sustained when he was shot outside the Northstar 14 Theatres in Joplin, university officials said.

The shooting happened at 9:50 p.m. Friday. Police arrested Jeffery L. Bruner, 39, of Joplin, shortly after the shooting and held him without bail on a charge of murder. They said Bruner knew the victim.

“We are looking at the investigation not as a random crime,” said Police  Sgt. Ryan West. “There was a relationship (between the suspect and the victim), and the suspect did have motive, which I cannot elaborate on at this time.”

West said there were witnesses to the shooting but declined to say how many. He said the shooting coincided with movies letting out at the multiplex theater while others were preparing to go to the late showing.

Moore's death prompted the school to cancel Saturday's game against Lindenwood University, as well as its other homecoming festivities. School officials said the game would be rescheduled later.



Moore, who leaves a 7-year-old son, coached at Western Illinois University for three yeras before before moving to Missouri Southern this season. He was a college coach for 14 years.

“Derek was new to Missouri Southern, but he was embraced by our campus and community,” said head football coach Daryl Daye. “He was a very likeable person who always had a smile on his face and made friends easily with our staff and players. This is an unspeakable loss for the MSSU athletics family.”


Details for this story were reported by the Joplin, Mo., Globe.


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