Almost Yesterday
3:19 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Cape Policemen Shot

It seems like almost yesterday when the Cape Girardeau Police Department encountered a tragic and fatal shooting. It was March 10, 1961. Officers could not have been more surprised when they pulled two men over for acting suspiciously in the local Krogers grocery store and the men immediately opened fire upon them.

Police officer Herbert Goss was hit with one of the first shots. Patrolman Donald Crittenden was hit in the abdomen -- both men quickly rushed to the hospital. Tragically, both men died.

The criminals escaped in their Oldsmobile as the police fired shots in pursuit. In their urgency to escape, the suspects stopped three men in a Chevrolet and stole their vehicle.

The chase continued as the men raced west to a farmhouse near Grassy. There, later, they attacked a farmer and took his 1960 black Ford and disappeared into the night. The search continued with bloodhounds, officers on the ground and a helicopter from Jefferson City overhead.

In the morning one suspect, Sammy Tucker, was spotted hiding in the brush near Grassy and taken into custody. He admitted that he and two other men had escaped from a California jail the week before and had planned on robbing the Kroger store but fled when the manager became suspicious.

One suspect remained at large for an entire week. The manhunt came to an end when the exhausted individual, Douglas Thompson, turned himself in to the Butler County Police in Poplar Bluff.

The event lasted 7 long days. It was 45 years ago but the tragic consequences of it makes it seem like Almost Yesterday. 

Related program: