Prosecutor explains decision not to charge guard in Waffle House shooting

4 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago Friday, February 07 2020 Feb 7, 2020 Friday, February 07, 2020 3:51:29 PM CST February 07, 2020 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Komoroski released information Friday regarding his decision not to charge the man who shot and killed Anthony Warren at a Waffle House in January 2018.

Warren died when he was hit by a gunshot fired by security guard Robert Moses as the latter tried to break up a fight. One of the participants in that fight, Matthew McMillan, was charged and later convicted of murder in Warren's death, and was sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Missouri law allows for someone to be charged with murder if the death happens during the commission of a crime, even if the suspect wasn't directly responsible for the death.

Komoroski did not charge Moses with any crimes, and said in a news release he waited until now to explain that decision so as not to interfere with McMillan's legal proceedings.

The fight and shooting happened early January 1, 2018 at the Waffle House on Vandiver Drive. According to surveillance video, Komoroski said, McMillan and another man, Le'Quan Hord-Bush, exchanged words and got into a fight over a gun McMillan pulled out. Komoroski said the video showed McMillan firing the gun twice: one shot hit a wall, the other hit Hord-Bush.

At that point, Moses - who had been outside - came in and started to struggle to get a hold of McMillan's gun. While this happened, Komoroski said, four men surrounded Moses, and a woman threw a coffee pot at Moses, hitting him in the shoulder and head.

It was at that point video showed Moses turning around and getting pushed by Warren. Komoroski said that's when Moses shot Warren, who later died at a hospital. Hord-Bush was also treated at a hospital and was later released.

In talking to police afterward, Moses said he was trying to stop McMillan and Hord-Bush from shooting anyone else during their fight. Moses told police he felt the people surrounding him meant to hurt him and was worried about getting shot himself, so he fired his own gun to protect himself. He added he also fired to prevent anyone from getting control of McMillan's gun, which had come loose during the struggle.

Komoroski said he concluded the evidence in the case "shows that Moses had the right to use deadly force against Warren," and there were "reasonable grounds" for Moses to think his use of force was necessary.

Komoroski added his office has talked to Warren's family members who asked that Moses be charged. He said that he expressed sympathy, but based on "the law" and his "ethical responsibilities" he cannot do so.

You can read the entire letter from Komoroski here.

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