Doniphan man accused of shooting ex-girlfriend

Curtis E. Ellis (Source: Doniphan Police Department)
Curtis E. Ellis (Source: Doniphan Police Department)

DONIPHAN, MO (KFVS) - The Ripley County Prosecuting Attorney announced that police arrested a Doniphan man after a shooting Friday outside of Patsy's Journeyman Restaurant.

Investigators say Curtis E. Ellis, 45, shot Loretta O'Neal in the back of the head.

Ellis faces assault and armed criminal action charges.

According to officers, when they arrived at the restaurant, they learned O'Neal had a head injury and saw her bleeding from the left side of her head above her ear. She was taken to a Ripley County hospital where medical staff told Doniphan police that O'Neal had a small caliber gunshot wound to her head. O'Neal was then flown to a Cape Girardeau hospital.

Officers say O'Neal's vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Hitch and Rail Bar with the driver's side window shattered. According to the probable cause statement, a used .22 caliber shell casing was later found on the ground behind where here vehicle was parked.

After further investigation, police say they learned Ellis was a former boyfriend of O'Neal. He had been served with an Order of Protection on Oct. 7, 2013.

Ripley County deputies found Ellis at his home where he agreed to go with them to the Doniphan Police Department. He was then interviewed.

During the interview, police say Ellis admitted to being present at the Doniphan bar on Nov. 1. He told them he arrived around 4:30 p.m. and stayed until around 8:50 p.m. when he got into his vehicle and drove home.

According to the probable cause statement, Ellis denied making contact with or seeing O'Neal, but did admit to texting her for about a week. Ellis told them he posed as another man while texting O'Neal, and at no time did she realize it was him. He said he left the bar because he didn't want to be there with her present.

Officers say the text messages on O'Neal's cell phone indicated she was going to meet the man Ellis was posing as at the bar.

In another interview on Nov. 2, Ellis admitted to making a homemade gun or a "zip gun," which fires a .22 caliber bullet, according to the probably cause statement. Ellis told police after leaving the bar he was sitting in his car getting ready to leave when he saw O'Neal sitting in her car in the bar parking lot.

Officers say Ellis admitted to getting out of his car and described sneaking up behind O'Neal and standing at an angle behind the driver's seat of her car. As he was standing there, he said he shot O'Neal with his homemade gun, according to the probable cause statement.

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