Suspect in custody; Carthage hotel homicide investigation continues

Joplin News First

The wanted man, Lane Stephens, 29, of Carthage was taken into custody at a Lamar church Sunday morning

UPDATE 9:50 AM: Carthage Police release shooting victims names:

“The male shooting victim is Don Pierce, 43 years old of Carthage. He was pronounced deceased on scene.

The female shooting victim is Toni Stephens, 25 years old of Carthage. She has been treated and released from a local hospital.”

UPDATE 9:32 AM: Suspect was taken into custody at a Lamar Church around 8:00 AM. Lamar Police confirm on social media. Our sources tell us the suspect was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor wounds along with a Lamar Officer. Carthage Police confirm at 9:32 AM, Lane Stephens, 29 is in custody.

UPDATE 7:50 PM: Suspect was last seen wearing a green sleeveless shirt and carrying a blue backpack after being dropped off in Lamar, Missouri near the Lamar Lake. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect please call 911. He is considered armed and dangerous so please use caution.  

UPDATE 5:00 PM: The white Hyundai Santa Fe was located north of Carthage at Civil War Rd and Pine abandoned. Suspect is still at large. 

Latest image is to the left, green sleeveless shirt and carrying a blue backpack. He was taken into custody around 8:00 AM at a Lamar Church.

ORIGINAL CARTHAGE, Mo. — About 11:00AM Carthage Police confirm with us a shooting occurred at the Quality Inn, 2701 Hazel Ave. This was not an active shooter. But a targeted shooting, an active assailant, fled the scene.

Ofc. Chad Dininger of Carthage Police Department tells us live in a media update that the assailant fled out of the north door of the Quality Inn.

Ofc. Dininger says they have sent an active bolo (Be On The Look Out) for a suspect to authorities across the region. Considered armed and dangerous, police are seeking, Lane Stephens, 29, of Carthage

There are two shooting victims. One victim, 43, an adult male, was pronounced deceased at the scene, inside the hotel, inside a room.

The second victim, 25, adult female, was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

After the suspect left the north doors of the Quality Inn it is believed to the west of the building the subject carjacked a Dodge pickup at gunpoint. He then drove north on Hazel. Later it is discovered that pickup was abandoned in the 1500 bk Case Street.

Then a second vehicle was carjacked at O’Reilly’s at knife point. That vehicle was found abandoned in a field around 5:00 PM, abandoned, near Pine Road and Civil War Road. The suspect has still not been located.

Carthage Police, Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputies are currently searching near that abandoned vehicle.

Shannon Becker is on the scene live. This is a continually updating breaking news story.

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