Legal experts have spoken openly about Missouri law after deciding not to press charges against a woman who shot and killed an off-duty firefighter at an independent gas station.
Jackson County prosecutors said it was done in self-defense and to protect others, and was within the law. Mobile phone video showed the brawl that started at a supermarket on October 6 has ended. A witness said the standoff lasted about 10 minutes.
A witness said Ja’von Taylor, 23, insulted a cashier before Anthony Santi, 41, stood up for her. Taylor pulled a gun from his car, police said. The battle is over outside.
Anthony Santi, late firefighter shot during Independence There are no new charges surrounding the death of an off-duty firefighter who was shot during the Independence. The video shows what Santi has to say about Taylor. The woman who came with Taylor fired a shot and ran away.
“It’s a very difficult decision because it’s obviously a tragic situation anyway,” said Patrick McInerney, Spencer Fein’s attorney.
McInerney is a former district and federal attorney. “In fact, Missouri has enacted self-defense laws to protect others since 1979,” said Steve Leben, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
State law states: “A person may… use force… (if) he or she has reason to believe that such force is to protect… a third person from… what he has reason to believe…. The person is about to use unlawful force.”
“The question is, does she reasonably believe he is at imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm?” Leben said. By not filing charges, prosecutors believe the jury will find action taken in another person’s defense appropriate.
“So the focus of the investigation was on that person’s beliefs and whether that was a reasonable assumption at the time,” McInerney said.