Woman With MSSU Coach at Joplin Movie Theatre Was the Estranged Wife of the Shooter (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Derek Moore, the 37-year-old assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University, who was shot dead Friday night outside a movie theatre, was apparently accompanied by the estranged wife of the shooter.
Before fatally shooting the coach, the 39-year-old suspect, Jeffery L. Bruner, confronted the lady. Joplin police said that Bruner then shot Moore and fired more rounds with a semi-automatic handgun. After the shooting, Bruner placed his firearm in his vehicle and then surrendered to bystanders.
An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Moore died from several gunshot wounds. However, the woman did not sustain any injuries in the confrontation.
Joplin police Lt. Matt Stewart told BND that there is no information about the extent and nature of the relationship between the coach and the lady. Even after this gruesome tragedy, the woman doesn't have a protection order in place against Bruner.
Moore, began working at the school over the summer. He is best remembered in the campus community for his smile.
"Derek was a fun guy," Missouri Southern State University head football coach, Daryl Daye, told Joplin Globe. "He was always smiling. He was always full of life. He had a great smile. He looked kind of like a prison guard, but once you got to know him, he was far from that. He was a big old teddy bear and soft-hearted."
The whole campus community including football players, students and faculty gathered at a memorial service held in honor of the coach on Monday at MSSU's Corley Auditorium in Webster Hall.
"We're here today to celebrate the life of Derek Moore," Daye said. "That's a key word: celebrate. We've had days to mourn, but now it's time to celebrate him. We're here to recall the good memories and the good feelings we have about him."