Marceline man shot to death; shooter kills himself

An altercation at the OK Tavern in Marceline has led to the death of two men.

"Apparently there was some kind of an altercation that started in the bar and it escalated I guess outside the bar afterwards," said Marceline Police Chief Tom Bendure.

Just before one a.m. Saturday morning, Marceline police responded to a shooting, which occurred on the 100 block of East Howell Street. When they arrived, they found 27-year-old Robert Brandon Niemeier, of Marceline, lying on the ground adjacent to the Dollar General Store parking lot, surrounded by several people. Niemeier was transported to Pershing Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Marceline Police Chief Tom Bendure said Niemeier was shot with a semi-automatic handgun twice-once in the thigh and once in the chest. The weapon used in the shooting was a semi-automatic handgun.

Bendure said the shooter fled the scene, and ran across the railroad tracks to his home on the 200 block of East Howell Street. When officers carried out a search warrant at the home around 8 a.m. Saturday, they found the suspect dead inside. He is identified as Justin Tyler McDowell, 27, of Marceline. Investigators said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Chief Bendure said this is rare in Marceline and that he hasn't seen a tragedy like this happen since he has been Chief of the police force.

"I've been in law enforcement here for 28 years and this is actually the first, well not first murder suicide but first one we've had since I've been chief and that's been since 95."

The investigation was conducted by the Marceline Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Linn County Sheriff's Dept,, the Linn County Coroner, and the Chariton County Sheriff's Dept.