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No charges in 2 fatal officer-involved shootings in Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Police officers involved in two separate fatal shootings in Missouri will not face charges after investigations by prosecutors.

Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker said no charges will be filed against Independence officers in the March 2022 death of Tyrea M. Pryor. Meanwhile, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson ruled that the use of deadly force by four Springfield officers against Justin Barker on Feb. 1 was justified.

Baker’s ruling was March 17. Her office released a letter to Pryor’s family on Thursday. Patterson’s ruling in the Springfield shooting was announced Friday.

Springfield officers were called to a park where Barker was allegedly threatening suicide. Police said officers were talking to Barker, 33, when he ignored orders to drop a gun and pointed it at officers, who shot him several times.

Pryor, 39, was shot to death on March 11, 2022, in the Kansas City suburb of Independence. Officers called to a home disturbance saw a white car leaving and began a chase. A car driven by Pryor wrecked a short time later.

Police dashboard camera video provided by attorneys for Pryor’s family showed officers talking to Pryor, who was still inside the car. One officer said, “He’s got a gun!” and officers began shooting into the car. Investigators said Pryor was shot 15 times. He died at the scene.

An AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon was pulled from the car, police said. One officer believed he saw a second gun, a pistol, but no pistol was found, the prosecutor’s office said in its findings.

The letter to Pryor’s family said the prosecutor’s office did not believe “the facts and law support charges here.”

Attorneys for Pryor’s family said they will ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

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