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Police Want To Question Man In Slaying Of Missouri Highway Patrol Officer

February 9, 1987

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ Police looking for the killer of a State Highway Patrol trooper said Monday that they want to question a man wanted for failing to make a court appearance last year on a weapons charge in Kansas City.

Capt. Ralph Biele, the patrol’s chief spokesman, said at a news conference that investigators want to question Glen Paul Sweet, 31, who he said was from a rural area in nearby Douglas County.

No warrant has been issued for Sweet in connection with Sunday’s slaying of Trooper Russell W. Harper, 45, of Springfield. Biele described Sweet as ″definitely a suspect,″ but said investigators had ″another suspect or two.″

Sweet, a former Springfield resident, is wanted on a bench warrant issued last February in Kansas City for failure to appear in court on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, Kansas City police Sgt. Laura Mulloy said.

Biele said Sweet also was wanted in Tarrant County, Texas, for failing to appear in court on a charge of cocaine possession.

According to witnesses, Harper was killed after he stopped a pickup truck carrying two people along U.S. 60, about a mile east of Springfield. The truck stopped on an intersecting county road.

Biele said that before the trooper could even shift his car into park, a man jumped out of the pickup and opened fire with an automatic or semi- automatic weapon, firing 25 to 30 shots.

Dr. Erwin Busiek, the Greene County medical examiner, said two shots hit the trooper, one grazing a leg and the other striking him in the head and killing him.

Biele said information from witnesses provided ″a pretty good composite picture″ of the killer. He declined to say whether any witnesses had identified photographs of Sweet as being those of the man they saw.

Biele said someone who wished to remain anonymous called patrol headquarters in Jefferson City and put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the trooper’s killer.

More than half a dozen of about 20 roadblocks set up by officers Sunday night remained Monday morning, as troopers continued to search a large area of southwest Missouri for the pickup truck. Authorities also used a Jet Ranger helicopter and an airplane in the manhunt, Biele said.

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