The Rolla Police Department reported that on July 19, 2017, at approximately 4:03 PM, officers responded to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center’s EmergencyDepartment due to a 21 year old female, who had been transported to the hospital by private vehicle with a single gunshot wound to her head. The victim was immediately airlifted to the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia, MO.
According to the Rolla Police Department it was initially reported that the shooting may have occurred in the parking lot of the Acorn Trail near Highway O & Sycamore Drive, however it was later revealed that the shooting actually occurred on Highway 72 near Osage Drive.
As a result of the follow-up investigation conducted by the Rolla Police Department’s Division of Criminal Investigations Unit, it was revealed that the shooting occurred after an illegal narcotics transaction had gone bad. The victim and an associate were being chased by another vehicle. During the chase, an occupant from the chasing vehicle began firing a handgun at the victim’s vehicle, which resulted in the victim being shot in the head.
The Rolla Police Reported that Steven T. Debord, age 43 of St. James, and Joseph L. Vance, age 37 of Rolla were arrested on the charges of Assault in the First Degree, Armed Criminal Action, and Distribution of a Controlled Substance. Both subjects were incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail on a 24 hour hold pending the issuance of warrants.
This incident is still under investigation, according to the police. Anyone having any information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Hank Harper at the Rolla Police Department’s Division of Criminal Investigations Unit at (573) 308-1213, or you can remain anonymous by calling the Rolla Police Department’s Confidential Tip Line at (573) 364-0111.
The Rolla Police Department would like to thank the St. James Police Department and Columbia Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.
The Rolla Police Department reminds readers that the charges for which Steven T. Debord and Joseph L. Vance have been charged with are mere accusations. Evidence in support of these charges must be presented to a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.