Names released in officer involved shooting in Senath

SENATH, MO (KAIT) - The investigation of the officer involved shooting in Senath has been turned over to Dunklin County and Missouri State law enforcement.

The Dunklin County Major Case Squad, the Division of Drug and Crime Control of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County Prosecutor's Office are investigating the Sunday evening incident in which police say  Senath officer J. Gentry shot and killed Gilbert Owens after he threatened Gentry with a knife.

Senath Police Chief Omar Karnes said the incident happened around 6 p.m. Sunday night.

According to Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, Officer Gentry was responding to a domestic disturbance call on North East Street when Owens approached him in an "aggressive and threatening manner," holding a knife.

Investigators said Owens punctured the tires on the vehicle belonging to Owen's father-in-law and a Senath patrol car.

"I heard a big commotion and screaming, sounded like women and children screaming. I went to my window, but before I got to my window I heard gunshots," said a neighborhood resident who did not want to be identified.

According to Sheriff Holder, Owens advanced towards the officer, disregarding the threat of pepper spray, and verbal commands to stop and drop the knife, which resulted in Officer Gentry shooting and killing Owens.

The Dunklin County Coroner pronounced Owens dead at the scene.

"When I heard the gunshots I walked outside to see what was going on and I seen a man laying on the ground. I noticed a car with slashed tires, and by that time officers were just swarming in, in every direction," the neighborhood resident said.

"Everybody knows everybody in the town here, and it's just sad that someone had to lose their life yesterday."

Officer Gentry is on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

The Dunklin County Major Case Squad includes officers from the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department, the Kennett Police Department and the Malden Police Department.

Owens has a criminal history, according to law enforcement. Details of his past violations have not been released.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.