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Mo. Officer, Wounded Jan. 10 During Traffic Stop, Dies in Hospital
By Scott Charton, The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A month after she was shot during a traffic stop by a gunman who later took his own life, a three-year veteran of the Columbia Police Department died Thursday of injuries that left her in a drug-induced coma.

Officer Molly Thomas Bowden, 26, had been hospitalized since the Jan. 10 shooting, when she was hit three times in the neck and shoulder. She had been in a drug-induced coma to fight an infection.


"Obviously we are very somber. There are a lot of red eyes and a lot of Kleenex boxes out. This is a big loss," said police Capt. Sam Hargadine, who announced the death.

Bowden was wounded after she pulled over motorist Richard Thiel Evans in a south Columbia neighborhood. Evans, 23, died the next day of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after fleeing from police and wounding a second Columbia officer with a gunshot to the arm.

Court records show Evans had a series of run-ins with police dating back several years, and his parents had gotten an order of protection against him because of past violent acts.

A video camera in Bowden's patrol car recorded the incident. The recording shows Evans suddenly shooting Bowden as she stood next to his car while he sat behind the wheel, and then Evans getting out of his car and firing at close range at Bowden after she fell wounded.

Bowden never pulled her pistol from its holster, police said.

Evans left the scene and passers-by used the downed officer's car radio to summon help.

"There is great solidarity in Columbia in feeling terrible about this," Mayor Darwin Hindman said. "Columbia is not used to this kind of thing happening, so our community is unanimous in its feelings of sorrow and distress."

Bowden began a new patrol assignment on Columbia's west side at the start of January. She married a fellow Columbia police officer in July 2003, helping to raise his two sons, and he and other family members were with her when she died.

Bowden underwent several surgeries following the attack. Family members said that at one point during her hospitalization, Bowden opened her eyes and was able to move her head. But the infection and high fever prompted the decision to give her medication that also induced the coma.

The community responded with calls, cards and e-mails of support for Bowden. Her church rallied around the officer's family. Gift baskets arrived at the police department. The wounded officer's husband and father even attended a benefit comedy show recently to raise money for a local fund to assist disabled law enforcement officers with their long-term care needs.

"Our heartfelt appreciation goes to this community," Hargadine said on behalf of the police department and Bowden's family.

No funeral arrangements were immediately announced.
 

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So young. That is my parents, and I'm sure every LEO's parents, worst nightmare. I can't imagine what her family is going through.
 

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My wife wants to get into LE. And things like this make me think twice. I think most of us feel more angered anytime a female Officer is shot (or even injured). Just like when a man hits a woman, its ten times more bothersome than if a man hits another man.
 

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RPD - At first my husband didn't want me to go into LE. I was so upset, but he's changed his mind and is extremely encouraging. Make sure that if your wife does pursue it to be there for her. It will mean the world to her. Women get a lot of...well you know...trying to even get into this profession.
 

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Thanks Kt,

Yeah, while in some degree I don't want her to get into LE, for obvious reasons, I do see that she is VERY interested in it. So I have made myself to be very supportive and really pushing her to learn more about it and getting her into the Reserve Academy this spring. When I told her I would get her into the Reserve Academy she was estatic, her eyes lit up - so that really opened my eyes and showed me just how badly she wants to get into it.
 

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That's awesome of you to help her pursue her dream. Down in CT there is nothing my husband can do for me except encourage me, which is all I need. A nice little poly notification from state would be nice too...but for now I'll take the encouragement.

Good luck to your wife!
 

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I am crossing my fingers for the MSP academy, although my husband feels like most men, worried about what it would entail, he has been 100% supportive of my goals. He will get out of bed after a night shift, go running with me, whatever it takes.

He is not in LE, but a medic in a busy city so he knows what freaks are out there. Recently we were driving at 2am on the Pike, there was a women trooper with someone pulled over, he looked at me and said "that doesnt scare the hell out of you?" Especially after reading about Off Bowden, its a bit scary, but good comes with the bad...althoug anything can happen, you spend 6 mo in a kick your ass academy to learn to protect yourself.

To all the guys out there who support the gals in your life with their LE (or any other goals)..it means a lot! And of course girls...good luck!!
 

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Tango";p="57187 said:
To all the guys out there who support the gals in your life with their LE (or any other goals)..it means a lot! And of course girls...good luck!!
Well said. I also agree that anything can happen anywhere...Learned that the hard way after my jewelers got murdered a few weeks ago. I'm more determined then every to do this.
 
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