Joplin police: Death during standoff linked to earlier death

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Joplin police said Friday the death of a man during a police standoff and the shooting death of another man at a different location are connected.

Donald Wimer, 54, of Joplin, was found dead of a gunshot wound on Thursday after his family had reported him missing, police spokesman Capt. William Davis said in a news release.

Officers went to another home Thursday night to arrest a suspect in Wimer’s death but the man refused commands from officers and a SWAT team to come out of the house, Davis said.

The SWAT team eventually fired chemical gas into the home. Davis said the chemicals used by the SWAT team are non-burning.

While officers were firing gas into various parts of the home, a fire broke out in the attic, Davis said, and officers heard a gunshot.

When the fire was extinguished, the suspect was found dead in the attic, he said. The cause of his death is being investigated.