St. Joseph police officer killed in training exercise

A St. Joseph police officer was fatally shot Wednesday afternoon while on a break from a training session, the Police Department said.

Officer Dan De Kraai, 35, was hit in the back after another officer’s handgun discharged about 2 p.m. at Neely School, the site of the training session, according to a written statement from police.

De Kraai, whom the Police Department hired in September 2006, was pronounced dead at Heartland Regional Medical Center shortly after arrival.

The training session was for the St. Joseph-Buchanan County special response team. De Kraai joined the team earlier this year.

De Kraai was married and had a daughter. Before the Iowa native was hired in St. Joseph, he served in Cameron, Mo., and was an instructor at the police academy at Missouri Western State University. He helped train new recruits in St. Joseph and was an evidence technician for the Police Department.

An official investigation is under way, and the other officer has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard after any shooting that involves police.