Missouri Southern State football coach shot, killed, school cancels Homecoming

Derek Moore, a new assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University, was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Joplin movie theater Friday night. MSSU canceled Homecoming activities for the weekend, and planned a candlelight vigil. 

A new assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University was shot and killed as he was leaving a Joplin movie theater, authorities said Saturday.

Derek Moore, offensive line coach for MSSU, was shot Friday night in the parking lot of the Northstar 14 Theatres, Joplin police said. Moore died later at a hospital.

Police said a 39-year-old suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting and was being held Saturday at the Joplin City Jail on a 24-hour hold pending formal charges. A jail official said the suspect could not take phone calls. The Jasper County prosecutor's office did not immediately return a call Saturday.

Moore, 37, was in his first year on the Missouri Southern football staff. He previously coached three seasons at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., according to the MSSU website.

"We are stunned and deeply saddened by this tragic incident, and our prayers are with Derek's family," MSSU Interim President Alan Marble said in a statement on the university's website.

The university, which also canceled its Homecoming activities for the weekend, said Moore was the father of a 7-year-old boy. The university is planning a campus candlelight vigil for Monday.

"Derek was new to Missouri Southern but he was embraced by our campus and community," head coach Daryl Daye said in the statement. "He was a very likeable person who always had a smile on his face and made friends easily with our staff and players. This is an unspeakable loss for the MSSU athletics family."

The university said counselors would be on hand to help students and employees deal with Moore's death.

"In times like this, our priority is to make sure we are there for our student-athletes, coaches and support staff in whatever way necessary," Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman said in the statement.

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