Shooting Victim\'s Family Reacts to Examiner\'s Homicide Ruling

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - Family members claim 'justice was served' now that the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner ruled the shooting death of a Callaway County man a homicide at the hands of law enforcement. 

Authorities from the Callaway County Sheriff's Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol shot and killed 34-year-old Timothy Simpson in the midst of a standoff at the Green Meadows Trailer Park near Fulton on April 2. Sheriff Dennis Crane said back then Simpson may have "leveled" a gun at his deputy. But Dustin Hook, Simpson's cousin and the owner of the trailer, said he never saw Simpson point his weapon at authorities, instead claiming his cousin dropped his weapon to his side.

Due to a state holiday, Crane and the Callaway County prosecuting attorney were not at work Tuesday and did not respond to phone calls at home. The Fulton Sun, however, reported the homicide ruling by the medical examiner and also said the sheriff and Highway Patrol had completed their investigation of the incident. Crane told the newspaper he figured the medical examiner would make that determination, adding that the more important question regards the justification of the shooting. According to Crane, his office and the Highway Patrol "believe it's a justified shooting."

Prosecutor Chris Wilson can now proceed with charges if he likes the evidence. Rose Simpson, the aunt of Timothy Simpson, said she felt "overwhelmed" by the ruling of homicide. Describing the past five weeks as a struggle for her family, Simpson said her son moved out of the trailer where the incident occurred because of the trauma. Hook actually tore the house down, and it now sits in rubble with only the foundation of the floors remaining. 

"I'm not saying that the ones who shot and killed [Timothy Simpson] were bad people," Rose Simpson said. "Justice just needs to be served."

Chasity Hook, another cousin of Timothy Simpson's, heard shots from her home next door on that April morning. In the aftermath of Simpson's death, she said the new report from the medical examiner brings more closure to the situation. 

 "Now," Hook said, "he can go rest in peace."

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