Clarkton suspect's girlfriend speaks out after officer-involved - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Clarkton suspect's girlfriend speaks out after officer-involved shooting

In town, everyone calls it a tragic event because the suspect and officer involved knew each other. In town, everyone calls it a tragic event because the suspect and officer involved knew each other.
She says whiskey, stress, depression and a gun all played a role in a moment of bad judgment. She says whiskey, stress, depression and a gun all played a role in a moment of bad judgment.
According to the Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County sheriff, Loughrey fired, and an unnamed officer fired back striking Loughrey. According to the Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County sheriff, Loughrey fired, and an unnamed officer fired back striking Loughrey.
CLARKTON, MO (KFVS) -

More is being learned about an officer-involved shooting that happened on Wednesday in Clarkton, Missouri.

Heartland News reported on the story just after it happened Wednesday. Elton Loughrey allegedly fired at that officer, and he took a bullet to the abdomen when that unnamed officer fired back.

On Thursday afternoon, Heartland News spoke to Loughrey's girlfriend of six years, Diane Hardcastle. She says it was all the result of a bad mix events that led up to a nightmare.

As of Thursday evening, she tells us Loughrey is fighting for his life.

She says Loughrey is a wonderful partner, and she'll stand by him.

She says whiskey, stress, depression and a gun all played a role in a moment of bad judgment.

"Elton just wouldn't give the gun for nothing," said Hardcastle. "I stood out here and screamed at him to put it down there was just no getting him to put it down,” she said. “One thing lead to another an unfortunately he started drinking.”

She says her boyfriend also suffers from a chronic illness and it all just got to be too much.

"He is under a lot of stress, and worried about his dad in the hospital and situations with his family."

Meanwhile she says he was keeping his father's gun while he was in the hospital.

Eventually the events of the night escalated.

Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder tells Heartland News that police got a call from someone on Clark Street saying Loughrey was in the yard yelling with a gun.

According to Holder and the Highway Patrol, police showed up. What happened next turned into a family and community nightmare.

"He's not a bad person he's a loveable person,” Hardcastle said. “I know he's not going to be coming home for a while but I'll be here.”

According to the Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County sheriff, Loughrey fired, and an unnamed officer fired back striking Loughrey.

"His stomach was hit and his liver was hit and the bullet's next to his spine," said Hardcastle. "The officer's that were here, we all know each other. Elton's never been in trouble for anything serious before. It's sad for everybody."

One longtime member of the community who asked us not use her name had this to say.

"I've lived here my whole life and our police would do whatever they could to keep our people safe, and I know they wouldn't do it unless they had to. It's sad for everybody. My heart goes out to the police officers and the family of the man who was shot. It was a bad moment."

Others in Clarkton told Heartland News that they want people outside the community to know this may look like any other officer-involved shooting.

In town, everyone calls it a tragic event because the suspect and officer involved knew each other.

Many feel it was simply a case where alcohol and guns escalated into a scary situation.

"I'm praying and I appreciate everybody praying for him," said Hardcastle. "He is my world and I'm lost without him."

The officer's name has not been released.

One officer on duty Thursday in Clarkton says everyone who was on scene is on administrative leave.

That is police protocol.

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