Trooper Russell W. Harper was shot and killed February 8, 1987, after he pulled over a pick-up truck being driven by Glennon P. Sweet for a traffic violation. The traffic stop occurred east of U.S. Highway 65 and U.S. Highway 60 near Farm Route 189 in Greene County. Before Tpr. Harper could stop his patrol car off the traveled portion of the roadway, Sweet emerged from the truck and fired several rounds at Tpr. Harper through the patrol car’s windshield. Tpr. Harper was killed by the gun fire and Sweet left the scene.
After an intensive manhunt by several law enforcement agencies, Sweet was found hiding in an attic in a house just west of Springfield, Missouri. Sweet was convicted for the murder of Tpr. Harper and was executed for his crimes by the state of Missouri in 1998.
Trooper Russell W. Harper, 45, was the 14th member of the Patrol to lose his life in the performance of his duties. He was survived by his wife, three sons, and a stepdaughter.