A memorial service will be held this afternoon for a central Iowa native who was shot and killed Friday night outside a movie theater in Joplin, Missouri. Thirty-seven-year-old Derek Moore was originally from Newton. He’d coached football at several Iowa schools and was working as an offensive line coach at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
Joplin Police Lieutenant Matt Stewart says a suspect is in custody and it’s thought he knew Moore and singled him out. “We do believe it is a targeted event and not just a random shooting,” Lt. Stewart says. “No other people that were in the area were injured.”
The suspect was found, still in the parking lot of the theater, and arrested on a murder charge. He’s identified as 39-year-old Jeffery Bruner of Joplin. Police are not commenting on a possible motive. Missouri Southern Interim President Alan Marble says Saturday’s football game between Missouri Southern and Lindenwood University was canceled, as were all homecoming activities.
Marble says, “There was a lot of planning and a lot of things that were scheduled to happen but under the circumstances, canceling and postponing the game just seemed like the right and respectful thing to do.” Marble says he expects this afternoon’s memorial service on campus for Moore to be heavily attended. “The whole campus community is in shock,” Marble says. “It’s a sad day here. We’ll get through it. We’ll work through it together as family and move on but it’s a stunning event and it’s just shocking to the campus.”
Before taking the job in Missouri this summer, Moore coached at several Iowa schools over the years, including: Ames High School, the University of Northern Iowa, Ellsworth Community College, Morningside College and Iowa Central Community College. He was a 1995 graduate of Newton High School and a 1999 graduate of Buena Vista University.
Thanks to Joe Lancello, KZRG, Joplin