Joplin officer killed Tuesday was Bentonville High graduate

STAFF PHOTO MARC F. HENNING Bentonville starter Jake Reed delivers a pitch Wednesday, March 6, 2013, during the Tigers' game against the Wildcats at the Tiger Athletic Complex in Bentonville.

Todd Abbott remembers Jake Reed's big smile.

"He was always smiling and laughing," the Bentonville High School baseball coach said, adding he had a care-free personality. "The smile ... that's what stands out to me the most. Seeing that smile of his."

That memory comforts Abbott.

Reed, a 2013 Bentonville High School graduate who pitched for the school's baseball team, was one of three Joplin, Mo., police officers shot in the line of duty Tuesday and one of two who died following the incident.

Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland announced Thursday that Reed was an organ donor.

"Jake is an organ donor, and plans are underway for Jake's heroic actions to bring life to people needing organ transplants," a post on the city's website stated.

"It's tragic," Abbott said. "There's a loving, care-free guy serving his community and starting his career, and his life is tragically cut short."

Abbott said he sees similar incidents on the news and it's horrible, but there's a different feeling when there's a direct connection. Abbott has coached at the school for 22 years, and many students have been part of his life. He has been thinking of Reed since learning the news.

"He always was smiling or someone was with him laughing. I know he's loved and he's going to be missed," Abbott said.

Cpl. Ben Cooper also died Tuesday after being shot. A third officer, Rick Hirshey, was shot and is hospitalized. Capt. William Davis shot and killed the gunman, according to the Joplin Globe.

Reed, who was a member of the Joplin Police Department's patrol division, began his career with the department in 2017, according to a post on the city's website.

Christian Falcon graduated with Reed in 2013. Falcon said he moved to Bentonville in the fourth grade and Reed was the first kid he met. The two became quick friends.

He remembered when Reed would come over to his house and talk with Falcon's father, who was a Bentonville police officer. Reed would ask his father about being a police officer, Falcon said.

"I remember him coming over once and flipping on the lights to my dad's car," Falcon said. "He just lit up, and it was cool to see him become a police officer and it wasn't just a childhood dream."

Falcon said he had not spoken to Reed in years, but Reed played an important part in his childhood.

"It's tragic," Falcon said of the shooting. "I feel bad for his family."

A memorial in honor of Reed and Cooper was set up in the Joplin Police Department lobby this week.

Public visitation for Reed will be held 4-8 p.m. Thursday at Leggett and Platt Center, 3950 E. Newman Road on the Missouri Southern State University campus in Joplin. A public funeral service for Reed will take place at 1 p.m. Friday at the same location, according to a Joplin Police Department Facebook post.

The Joplin Police Officers Association has set up a GoFundMe account to benefit the families of all three officers involved in Tuesday's shooting. The fundraiser can be found at More than $51,000 had been raised as of late afternoon Friday.

Donations also can be dropped off at the Joplin Police Department front desk or mailed to 303 E. Third St., Joplin, MO 64801, c/o Officer Benevolence.