Shooting death behind Joplin convenience store ruled suicide

Mar. 6—The Newton County coroner has ruled the death of a Monett man Friday night on Joplin's southwest side a suicide by gunshot.

Richard L. Friend, 62, died at the scene of the shooting behind the Rapid Roberts convenience store at 4549 S. Missouri Highway 43 in Joplin.

Capt. William Davis of the Joplin Police Department said officers were called to the store at 7:20 p.m. Friday regarding a man who had been asked to leave the business but was still hanging around outside.

Davis said that as an officer approached the man — later identified as Friend — he pulled out a gun and shot himself. Coroner Dale Owen confirmed Wednesday that he was ruling the death a suicide.