July 11, 2002


Gunman not under influence during shooting

The man who shot four monks, killing two, wasn’t on any medication when he opened fire at Conception Abbey last month. The toxicology results of Lloyd Jeffress came back with no sign of Prozac in his system. Mr. Jeffress had been prescribed Prozac, an anti-depressant.

No other drugs or alcohol were in the shooter’s system, said Sgt. Sheldon Lyon of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The investigation into the reason behind Mr. Jeffress’ rampage on the rural Northwest Missouri Catholic facility is ongoing, but slowing down.

“It’s still an open investigation, but there aren’t many new leads to follow,” Mr. Lyon said. “There are a few loose ends.”

Mr. Lyon said investigators plan on talking to more of Mr. Jeffress’ doctors to see if they can shed any light on why he entered the abbey June 10 and shot the monks before he turned the gun on himself.

Mr. Jeffress killed Brother Damian Larson, 64, the abbey groundskeeper, and the Rev. Philip Schuster, 85. The Rev. Kenneth Reichert, 68, and the Rev. Norbert Schappler, 73, also were shot. Both spent weeks hospitalized before returning to Conception two weeks ago.

Law-enforcement officials have said the crimes may have stemmed from resentment Mr. Jeffress had toward the Catholic religion after a 1959 divorce. Investigators came to consider this possibility through discussions with Mr. Jeffress’ estranged family members and his ex- wife.

Mr. Lyon said the case isn’t an active criminal investigation because Mr. Jeffress committed suicide.

Gunman not under influence during shooting
St. Joseph News-Press
Kristi Bailey
July 11, 2002