A tragic double shooting that occurred in Excelsior Springs last year, initially resulting in one fatality, has now been upgraded to a double homicide after the second victim, Bobby Neal Jr., succumbed to his injuries this spring.
The shooting, which took place on September 7, 2022, resulted in the death of Theresa Bass, a mother and healthcare worker from Excelsior Springs, MO. In a probable cause statement filed with the Clay County court system, it was revealed that the Excelsior Springs Police Department initially received a 911 call from one of Theresa’s daughters, reporting that her mother had been shot, and the shooter was identified as Keith Bass, Theresa’s estranged husband. Upon their arrival at the scene, officers found Theresa on the front porch, “bleeding profusely,” and her friend, Bobby Neal Jr., lying in the doorway, partially inside the home, with a severe injury to his face.
Two of Theresa’s children were present at the scene and reiterated that the shooter was their stepfather, Keith Bass. EMS arrived on the scene and transported both Theresa and Bobby to Liberty Hospital. When ESPD arrived at Liberty Hospital, they were informed that Theresa had succumbed to her injuries. An ESPD officer was able to speak to Bobby Neal Jr., who also confirmed that he and Theresa had been shot by Keith Bass. Neal Jr. was taken into emergency surgery and placed in a medically induced coma.
A co-worker of Keith Bass, who had spoken with him, reported that he admitted to her that he had killed his wife and told her he “had nothing to live for.” At that time, Keith’s location was unknown. As reported earlier, Keith was arrested 12 hours later (September 7, 2022, at 12:38 PM) by the Floyd County Texas Sheriff’s Department near Floydada, TX, after flagging down a local police officer and turning himself in.
Excelsior Springs police officers traveled to Texas to interview Keith Bass, where they received a formal confession and took possession of the weapon used in the crime. Officers also processed the car Keith had been driving for any additional evidence. “We have a strong case,” said ESPD Police Chief Gregory Dull at the time. The Clay County Sheriff’s Department handled the extradition back to Missouri.
On March 16, 2023, Bobby Neal Jr. was transferred to hospice care, and on March 19, 2023, he succumbed to his gunshot wounds. An autopsy report listed the cause of Neal’s death as “Complications of multiple gunshot wounds” and the manner of death as “Homicide.”
Keith Bass now faces two counts of first-degree murder and two additional charges of armed criminal action. He is being held on a two-million-dollar bond at the Clay County Detention Center. Bass was served with a new warrant on October 4, 2023, and appeared in court on October 5, 2023, where he was served with the upgraded charges. Bass waived the reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court on October 20, 2023, for a docket call.
According to court documents, murder in the first degree is a class A felony, and the punishment shall be either death or imprisonment for life without eligibility for probation or parole, or release except by the act of the governor. The range of punishment for the offense of armed criminal action is imprisonment by the Department of Corrections for a term of not less than three years and not to exceed fifteen years unless the person unlawfully possesses a firearm, in which case the term of imprisonment shall be for a term of not less than five years, without eligibility for parole, probation, conditional release, or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for a period of three (3) calendar years.