One person taken into custody after man shot in head in Moberly

MOBERLY - Prosecutor Stephanie Luntsford amended charges Friday and has formally charged Moberly man Jerry L. Fitzwater with first degree murder in the July 8 shooting of Mitchell Duane Nickerson. 

Fitzwater was also charged with armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon. 

The Moberly Police Department was notified of a man shot and bleeding at 300 East Burkhart Street at 8:22 p.m. on Thursday, July 8.

Officers arrived at the scene to find Nickerson, 49, of Moberly, lying in the street, shot in the head, according to a news release from the police department.

First aid was performed on the Nickerson and he was transported to University Hospital.

Moberly Police Chief Troy Link confirmed to KOMU 8 on Monday that Nickerson died. 

Several subjects were detained at the scene, and a search warrant was carried out at a residence where a weapon was recovered, the release said. 

According to the probable cause statement, the shooter, 79-year-old Fitzwater, admitted to shooting the victim. His original charges were first degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

"And I know that he believed that they were there unlawfully, however our reports indicate that he was aware that the individuals were there," Link said. "He was advised how to take care of that, which was serve eviction notices, which he didn't do"

Fitzwater claimed the man was selling illegal drugs and that he decided to take matters into his "own hands." His statement also said that if the police had not shown up when they did, Fitzwater "would have shot everyone in the residence."

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Emma Boyle is a junior at the University of Missouri-Columbia studying journalism and international studies. You can reach her at

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