Special prosecutor says shooting was justified in Hannah Fizer case

1 week 1 day 12 hours ago Monday, September 14 2020 Sep 14, 2020 Monday, September 14, 2020 11:59:00 AM CDT September 14, 2020 in News
By: Marina Silva, KOMU 8 Digital Producer & Elyse Schoenig, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

PETTIS COUNTY- Special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff determined Monday that the shooting of Hannah Fizer is justified under Missouri Criminal law. 

In a letter sent to a judge, Sokoloff said after reviewing evidence, the shooting was justified. He was assigned to the case in early August. 

"There are aspects of the case that lead me to believe that an alternative approach might have avoided the confrontation that led to the officer having to discharge his weapon, but that is not relevant to a determination of whether criminal liability would attach," Sokoloff said.

He mentioned that the absence of body camera footage did make the decision more difficult. 

Hannah Fizer was shot and killed on June 13 by a Pettis County Deputy in Sedalia during a traffic stop. 

According to the letter, the officer felt he was in danger after Fizer said she had a gun. 

"I believe it would be difficult to find from this evidence that the officer did not have a reasonable apprehension of immediate serious or physical injury or death from the acts of the suspect," Sokoloff said. 

A former Cole County prosecutor, Bill Tackett, said the next step is in the hands of the Pettis County Sheriff's Office.

"Typically when an officer has been cleared and they are in eminent fear of serious physical injury or death, once they clear that legal hurdle," Tackett said. "There's not any disciplinary action, but that's up to the Sheriff of that county."

Fizer's long-time family friend Laura Cooper said she's at a loss for words.

"I can't even explain what I'm feeling," Cooper said.

Cooper said she'll miss Fizer's contagious laugh the most - and that the community's fight for her life is not over yet.

"We will fight for justice," Cooper said. "If not for Hannah, for the next Hannah down the line."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Schools district tracker reported Monday that in 14 days there were only 49.2 positive cases... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 8:34:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – College football season is back and the Missouri Tigers will take on Alabama this Saturday. In-person attendance... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:48:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Trash and recycling workers urged Columbia City Council during Monday night's meeting to consider the staffing shortages and... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - It's been several weeks since the University of Missouri semester began. Several MU students said they haven't been... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:52:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Rock Bridge Hy-Vee had a drive-thru event for the community Tuesday, where anyone could come and pick... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:42:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Head Football Coach Eli Drinkwitz confirmed seven players will be out for Saturday's game due to COVID-19... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:38:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in Sports
(CNN) -- Vanessa Bryant is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Alex Villanueva for a photo leak... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 5:03:57 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- There are more than 900,000 Missouri residents who experience a mental illness each year, including nearly 200,000 who experience... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:26:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
MISSOURI - There's a new phone scam making waves, and the FBI wants the public to be in the know.... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:24:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 a.m., Ameren Missouri will repair a leak on a gas main under... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:00:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County downgraded from the red zone in the latest White House COVID-19 Task Force report, while eight... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 2:45:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
CENTRALIA - The Centralia Public School District began providing all students and community members 18-years-old or younger with free breakfast... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 2:43:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One would think Uber and Lyft drivers’ pockets would hurt a little bit from Boone County’s alcohol restrictions,... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 2:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
MISSOURI- As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. The... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 1:00:00 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- NBA legend Michael Jordan will be trying his hand at a new sport soon, NASCAR. Jordan and... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:12:47 PM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- What happened today seemed impossible to many Americans six months ago. When Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted in... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 11:57:00 AM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Missouri candidates for governor will participate in a forum at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, sponsored by the Missouri... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 11:15:00 AM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, September 22 2020 Sep 22, 2020 Tuesday, September 22, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT September 22, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 64°
1am 65°
2am 64°
3am 62°
4am 61°