Death toll in Jackson shooting rises to 3

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The death toll in one of the most violent shooting sprees in Southeast Missouri history rose to three Tuesday.

Michael R. Jeffers, 16, died Tuesday afternoon at Saint Francis Medical Center, Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton said. He had been shot in the head during the shooting Monday in Jackson.

Two were pronounced dead immediately following the shooting -- Mir Shahin Moshiri, 36, the suspected shooter; and Madison Moshiri, 4, his daughter with Katherine Moshiri.

Meghan Moshiri, 2, was listed as critical at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis and Katherine Moshiri, Jeffers' mother, was in critical condition at Saint Francis Medical Center, police said.

On Tuesday, Clifton officially ruled the shooting a murder-suicide. Jackson police chief James Humphreys said police a .38-caliber handgun was used in the killings.

More details about the circumstances leading to the shooting emerged Tuesday, and those details paint a picture of a woman trying to protect herself and her family from a man she claimed had locked her in her home, had threatened to take their children to Iran and who had been storing weapons in their home.

Katherine Moshiri fled her Jackson residence and ran into the lobby of the Cape Gir?ardeau County Sheriff's Department at 4:55 p.m. Monday, screaming that her husband had shot her. Twenty-five minutes earlier, a Cape Girardeau judge had faxed an order of protection Katherine Moshiri had filed that afternoon against Mir Shahin Moshiri to the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department.

Because all of the ambulances responding to a fatal car crash that occurred about the same time, Katherine Moshiri, suffering from four gunshot wounds to the upper body, was transported to an area hospital by a county sheriff's car, driven by a jail officer, said Sheriff John Jordan.

Police forcibly entered the Moshiris' 333 W. Mary St. residence and found the bodies of Mir Shahin Moshiri in the living room and Madison Moshiri in an upstairs bedroom, both dead of gunshot wounds to the head.

According to an order of protection obtained by the Southeast Missourian, Katherine Moshiri said he threatened to kill her if she left him.

"We get 15 or 20 of these in a day," said Cape Girardeau County Associate Circuit Judge Peter Statler.

Statler said he granted the ex parte order because Katherine Moshiri was obviously concerned about her children being taken out of the country.

"My thought is always to try to err on the side of the potential victim," he said.

Statler set a court date for both parties to appear at the Common Pleas Courthouse in Cape Girardeau on Dec. 13, but he said many times a couple will reconcile before they are scheduled to appear in court.

Katherine Moshiri said in the statement that her husband unlawfully imprisoned her in their house Sunday and that she feared he would take their children back to Iran with him.

"He is an Iran citizen threatening to take our children to Iran. His brother is leaving for Iran next week and has children very close in age to mine with dual citizenship," her statement read.

He had obtained numerous weapons that he was keeping in the house, including an Uzi with a 100-round clip, according to her statement.

She also claimed that those weapons were obtained illegally because he was not a U.S. citizen. According to a U.S. law enforcement official, however, Mir Shain Moshiri was an Iranian with permanent resident status in the United States, which would not prohibit him from owning or buying a gun.

Katherine Moshiri's order for protection arrived via fax around 4:30 p.m. At 4:45 p.m., neighbors reported hearing screams coming from the house, Jordan said.

Typically, the sheriff would need to sign an order for protection before it would be served, Jordan said.

The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department had never had any calls from the Moshiri family before, he said.

The Moshiris had filed one report with the Jackson Police Department, but it concerned a dog that had been hit by a car, said Lt. Rodney Barnes.

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