A dated mugshot of 44-year-old James A. Weiss Jr.

JOPLIN, Mo. — The suspect involved in a homicide in Joplin late last week has been identified.

The Joplin Police Department said 44-year-old James A. Weiss Jr. (pictured above) of Joplin died of a single, self-inflected gunshot wound following an attempted arrest by the Joplin S.W.A.T. Team late Thursday night (3/31).

An official autopsy on Weiss is still pending, said JPD, and the investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Joplin Police were looking to arrest Weiss who was a suspect in the shooting death of 54-year-old, Donald Wimer of Joplin.

Joplin Police said an official autopsy on Wimer has been ordered to determine the exact cause of his death.

Death Investigation & SWAT Team Involvement

The Joplin Police Department SWAT Team was activated to 2201 South Empire Avenue in Joplin to arrest 44-year-old James Weiss Jr.

This all started on the evening of March 31st, when detectives with the Joplin Police Department received information that the suspect in this case (James Weiss Jr.) was located at 2201 South Empire Avenue in Joplin.

Detectives were able to secure a search warrant for this address along with an arrest warrant related to the death investigation for the suspect (James Weiss Jr.).

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Joplin Police Officers and Detectives attempted to get the suspect to exit the residence, however those attempts were unsuccessful.

The Joplin Police Department SWAT Team was activated and responded to the scene.

The SWAT Team made numerous attempts to also get the suspect (James Weiss Jr.) to exit the address, but he refused.

Joplin SWAT introduced chemical munitions into the residence in an effort to force him to exit and
surrender to law enforcement.

During the process of inserting chemical munitions, a fire became visible from the attic area of the home.

The chemical munitions utilized by the Joplin SWAT Team were non-burning/non-incendiary.

Joplin SWAT Team members also reported hearing a gunshot come from inside the residence.

Cause of House Fire Still Under Investigation

During the SWAT Team’s insertion of non-incendiary/non-burning chemical munitions, a fire became visible from the attic area of this home at 2201 South Empire Avenue in Joplin.

The Joplin Fire Department was summoned to the scene and worked in conjunction with SWAT Team members to get the fire extinguished.

Once conditions improved, SWAT officers were able to begin clearing the residence and located a
deceased male subject in the attic of the home.

The scene was turned over to Joplin Police Detectives as they continued their investigation.

No civilians, officers or firefighters were injured during the incident.

The Joplin Police Department continues to work in conjunction with the Joplin Fire Department and the Joplin Fire Marshal to determine the cause of the fire.