The story behind the fountain

Terry Barnes graduated from William Jewell College in 1989 with a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration. He was the last of five siblings to attend Jewell. While here, he was on the track and football teams and was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Order. At the time of his death, Oct. 27, 1990, he was a stockbroker for Kidder Peabody & Co. in Kansas City, Mo. and had plans to marry his fianceé Alison Brady, fellow 1989 graduate, the following June.

The Terry Barnes Memorial fountain stands behind the “William Jewell College” sign at the College’s Mill Street entrance. The fountain is an open circle that visitors can walk through to reach a cement pedestal in the center.

The Barnes family donated the fountain to Jewell in 2000 as a memorial to Barnes. The dedication was held May 6, 2000 in conjunction with the dedication of Jewell Hall’s renovaiton.

“May those who hear the splash or feel the spray of this water reflect upon its cleansing and refreshing power for the body and the soul. May all who experience the beauty of this fountain be inspired to celebrate the gift of life,” said then Jewell president Dr. W. Christian Sizemore during the dedication.

The Barnes family saw the fountain, both in its design and its location, as embodying Barnes’ personality and life. In their statement on the dedication pamphlet backpage, they said the dancing waters reflect “the boundless energy of Terry’s life.” They placed the fountain at the his college’s entrance to symbolize “the education that nurtured his purity of purpose and dedication to achievement.” It also stands between Greene Stadium and the former Kappa Alpha house (now the Fred and Shirley Pryor Center for Leadership Development) because these are two locations that were particularly important to Barnes.

Barnes died at the age of 24. He was shot by a police officer in his apartment around 4 a.m. The 33-year-old officer had been on the force for two years. Barnes was unarmed at the time.

Police were responding to a suspected burglary call. Two suspicious men were reported around 2:30 a.m. When police arrived, they saw two men running away and lost them. At 3:30 a.m., the police received another call. Residents in the building next to Barnes’ reported two men had kicked their door down. By the time police arrived, witnesses stated the men had fled to Barnes’ building.

The officers found Barnes’ apartment door slightly open and entered believing the burglars were inside. According to an article published in “The Kansas City Star,” the officers entered the apartment, turned on the living room light and identified themselves as police officers three times, but no one responded.

The officer ran into Barnes in a dark bedroom. The officer said Barnes was coming towards him when he fired the single fatal shot that struck Barnes’s between the eyes. Andy Brez, Barnes’ roommate and fellow Jewell alumnus, was in another room and was not injured. The burglars were never found.

The officer, Stephen Stock, was placed on paid administrative leave until he was indicted by the Clay County grand jury in November 1990 for involuntary manslaughter. According to an article from “The Liberty Tribune,” jurors were instructed to consider whether or not “the shooting was accidental or the result of recklessness.” Stock was suspended without pay after the indictment and was freed on a $2,500 recognizance bond.

Certain materials used in the publication of this work were obtained from the Charles F. Curry Library, William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri.

Photo courtesy of William Jewell Photo. 

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