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'Armed and dangerous' suspect wanted in connection with Willow Springs domestic call found dead after standoff with West Plains police


The multiagency search for a man considered armed and dangerous by law enforcement is over after West Plains police followed up on an anonymous tip about the man’s whereabouts Tuesday evening and, after a tense standoff with shots fired at police and two people rescued, officers found the man dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities reported Wednesday morning.

Howell County Special Weapons and Tactics Team deputies were called out shortly before 9:30 p.m. Monday, dispatched to assist the Willow Springs Police Department with a domestic disturbance reported on North Ferguson Street in Willow Springs.

The call came as the S.W.A.T. team was leaving a scheduled training session, said Public Information Officer Angela Conboy with the Howell County Sheriff’s Office in a statement emailed to media outlets.

Authorities were called to respond a domestic disturbance involving shots fired, Conboy explained. A woman and her 9-year-old child who were in the home reportedly fled in fear to an upstairs bedroom, believing the other party in the disturbance was armed and still inside.

S.W.A.T. Team deputies helped set up a perimeter within minutes of arrival on scene, said Conboy, and coordinated with Willow Springs police. S.W.A.T. deputies determined they could bring the woman and child out of an upstairs window.

The other party, a man who authorities identified as Shawn Michael Clark, 34, was believed to be armed and dangerous. After removing the woman and child, part of the S.W.A.T. Team entered the home in attempt to locate Clark, while other team members searched the surrounding areas for the suspect, said Conboy. Authorities were not able to locate him at the time.

Deputies learned Clark was wanted on arrest warrants for failure to appear on Ozark County and West Plains municipal traffic violations, plus a probation/parole violation, and the sheriff’s office took to social media late Tuesday morning to share Clark’s description and ask the public to contact law enforcement with information regarding Clark’s whereabouts.

At about 8 p.m. Tuesday, West Plains Police officers received an anonymous tip regarding Clark’s location, according to a statement from the desk of West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli issued by Officer Conner Burnes at about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers responded to the location and tried unsuccessfully to make contact with Clark, who was found to have barricaded himself inside the home and would not comply with orders to leave, the statement said. Officers also learned a man and woman were inside the home, and they were safely extracted from the home without injury, authorities said.

The police department’s Strategic Response Team responded with Howell County deputies to establish a perimeter while the police department’s Crisis/Hostage Negotiation Team tried to negotiate with Clark, and during that time, Clark, using a handgun, reportedly fired multiple rounds at officers. Negotiation effortss continued until the Strategic Response Team and Howell County S.W.A.T. Team were able to make entry into the home, where they found Clark dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the statement concluded.

No law enforcement members were hurt, said police, and Clark’s next of kin have been notified.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2024, with updates from the West Plains Police Department regarding the events of Tuesday evening.