Missouri Man Wanted for Deadly Shooting, Terrorist Threats, Considered Armed and Dangerous


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Joplin, MO – A Missouri man is wanted in connection with a deadly shooting and faces multiple alleged charges, including making terrorist threats. Authorities have issued a warning that he is armed and dangerous.

According to Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a location on Freddie Lane early Thursday, discovering the body of 50-year-old Eric Whittington. According to Chief Deputy Rick Geller, an altercation between Whittington and the suspect, Joshua William Ray Taft, 42, led to Whittington’s fatal shooting. Deputies found Whittington outside on the ground upon arrival.

Newton County Detectives are actively investigating the case. 

Taft has been charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful possession of a firearm, and endangering the welfare of a child. Additionally, Taft has a felony warrant for second-degree terrorist threats.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office has issued a public appeal for assistance in locating Taft. Authorities caution that Taft should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact the Newton County Sheriff’s Office at 417-451-8300 or Central Dispatch at 417-451-8333. In case of immediate sighting, individuals are advised to call 911 immediately.


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