A decorated 21-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department was the victim of a vehicular assault Tuesday morning outside the Springfield Police Department.
Officer Mark Priebe was attempting to flag down a driver who had caused an incident inside the lobby of the SPD’s main headquarters on Chestnut Expressway when the driver accelerated at him, pinning the officer between a bollard and the vehicle.
Officer Priebe is a decorated officer who represented the state of Missouri at the Special Olympics World Summer Games. He has been the face of SPD to Special Olympics events since 2007, and has been the organizer and driving force between the area’s law enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run.
“As negative as things can be with our job, these athletes…the camaraderie, the fellowship, the happiness,” Priebe told OI in January 2019 about his work with Special Olympics, “they’re not just about winning, they’re about their fellow competitors doing well too. It’s so different than most events these days.”
Officer Priebe has been honored multiple times for his efforts, including the Gift of Time Award and the Unsung Hero Award.
The driver of the vehicle who struck Officer Priebe has been identified as 28-year-old Jon Tyler Franklin Routh. He was shot by a second officer when he refused commands to leave the vehicle after striking Officer Priebe.
The lobby at police headquarters is closed until further notice. Citizens who need to conduct police business will need to visit the South District Station at 2620 West Battlefield Road until 7 p.m. today.