newsMay 25, 2024
During the Cape Girardeau High School Graduation, Kris Owens fired two shots in the upper level of the Show Me Center during the ceremony on May 19.
Police photo of Kris Owens
Police photo of Kris OwensPhoto Submitted by Cape Girardeau Police Department

Kris Owens was taken into custody for Class A felony first-degree felony assault, the unclassified felony of armed criminal action, and class E felony of unlawful use of a weapon. Christopher Owens was arrested for a Class A misdemeanor of loitering within 500 feet of school property as a registered sex offender.

Police photo of Christopher Owens
Police photo of Christopher OwensPhoto Submitted by Cape Girardeau Police Department

The shots were fired during an altercation in which Kris Owens shot two people involved.

According to Cape Girardeau Police public information officer Lt. Richard Schmidt, the victims were immediately taken to the hospital following the shooting, and neither had any life-threatening injuries.

Police photo of Andra D. Jennings, Jr.
Police photo of Andra D. Jennings, Jr.Photo Submitted by Cape Girardeau Police Department

Schmidt noted that the Cape High School Police were on the scene before the shooting, and the Cape Girardeau Police were there within 5 minutes.

Schmidt added that several officers from the surrounding areas were also present at the Show Me Center.

“Everybody that came to help. I mean, there was Highway Patrol, Bollinger County, Jackson, Missouri. Then you got the federal agencies that showed up. ATF [The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives], they all volunteered to come do whatever they could do. So it was a huge effort.” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the Owens were taken to Jackson County Jail on May 20 or 21, and their court dates are still pending.

Due to the lack of metal detectors in the Show Me Center Owens was able to bring a gun very easily.

The Show Me Center’s website claims that bag checks and security wands will be used for “major events;” however, it does not specify what qualifies as a “major event.”

During a live stream published on KFVS-12’s Facebook page, Assistant Superintendent Josh Crowell addressed whether additional security, such as metal detectors, will be provided in the future.

“So as with any situation, we reevaluate and evaluate where we were at what took place and then we will look at new processes, procedures, protocols, and then implement those accordingly. So I cannot tell you exactly what that will look like yet. But there will be various changes that, I would also say, will spread all over our campuses and all over our buildings, particularly for summer school and then leading into the start of next school year, and all events going forward.” Crowell said.

SEMO president, Dr. Carlos Vargas is working on developing better security for the university.

According to SEMO’s website, Vargas recently met with representatives from the offices of Finance and Administration, Enrollment Management and Student Success and General Counsel’s offices.

“After three days, we do not have all the necessary information to share the changes that will be implemented because of this event just yet. I have asked that my team complete their analysis so that we have actionable steps identified and can begin implementation in the next couple of weeks.” Vargas stated.

Vargas and his team are reviewing university business policies in response to the shooting, and additional security measures may be implemented in the future.