Missouri officer charged for accidentally shooting Black woman with Gun instead of Taser

A Ladue, Missouri police officer was charged with second-degree assault for shooting a shoplifting suspect in a Schnucks grocery store parking lot on Wednesday, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

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A Ladue, Missouri police officer was charged with second-degree assault for shooting a shoplifting suspect in a Schnucks grocery store parking lot on Wednesday, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

Officer Julia Crews, 37, turned herself in today and is expected to post a bond of $2,000.

“A person commits the offense of assault in the second degree if he or she recklessly causes physical injury to another person by means of discharge of a firearm,” St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell said. “It is our position that the officer’s actions were reckless.”

The officer was responding to a call regarding a theft at the Ladue Crossing Schnucks on April 23 when she reportedly mistook her Taser for a loaded gun and shot one of the two suspected shoplifters, 33-year-old Ashley Hall, by accident. Crews was attempting to arrest Hall and gave her a warning that she would use her Taser, Bell said, but Hall kept running away. 

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Crews’ attorney, Travis Noble, said what happened was a “tragic accident”. He said his client “genuinely” thought she had took out her Taser. 

Hall is still in the hospital from the incident.

“She’s devastated,” Noble said. “Officer Crews is not saying, ‘I was in fear of my life, and I was justified to shoot,’ and everybody else is going, ‘Well, this is not a justified shooting. She would tell you, ‘I didn’t mean to shoot.’”

Crews is currently on administrative leave from the Ladue department. She has worked there for over 10 years. She is the only person who has been charged, but Bell said they are continuing to investigate. Hall could face criminal charges as well.

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Bell said the decision to charge Crews was “thoroughly reviewed.”

“The overwhelming number of officers that carry that badge do so in the right manner with the right intentions,” he said. “With any case, we’re going to go with the facts and law guide us. I don’t know if there’s any lessons.”