Prosecutor: No charges in Jefferson City police shooting

July 27, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jefferson City police officers who shot and killed a man during a traffic stop last month will not be charged with a crime, Cole County prosecutor Locke Thompson said Tuesday.

Clay Willingham, 32, of Sturgeon, was shot June 7 after officers stopped him for expired registration in Jefferson City.

Police said Willingham had a rifle and did not listen to officers’ orders to drop the weapon before he was shot, Thompson said Tuesday.

Jefferson City police do not have body-worn cameras, KMIZ-TV reported.

Thompson said officers acted in self-defense and in defense of others when they shot Willingham after he turned toward them with the gun raised in a shooting position.

A veterans service group based in Virginia said they were working with Willingham, who had expressed plans to hurt himself because he had several issues related to his service in the U.S. Marines, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.

Thompson said that report was considered and he believes Willingham’s death was a suicide by officer situation.

On Jan. 3, Jefferson City officers shot and killed a man after they say he ran at them with a knife at a shopping complex. No charges were filed against the officers involved.