LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A homeowner shot and killed a suspected car thief outside his home on November 4th at around 1am. Now Charles Flagg, the homeowner, faces manslaughter and murder charges. The Castle Doctrine came into question in this case. That is the Missouri law that states a citizen may used deadly force if they feel an imminent threat.
Flagg tells police that he woke up from a deep sleep to hear his car alarm going off. He looked out of his window to see a man walking near his 2009 Volkswagen Passat parked in the driveway. He says he took his .357 revolver and went outside the home to confront the man.
The probable cause statement says the car alarm went off again. Flagg hears the car being started and saw the man sitting in his driver's seat. The suspect drove away in reverse down the driveway. The driver's side window of the vehicle was closed as Flagg yelled for him to stop. That is when Flagg shot at the vehicle's windshield. The man continued to drive away onto Lake St. Louis Blvd. He walked toward the vehicle as it was leaving and discharged 3-5 additional rounds. The suspect was hit in the side of the chest.
Police identified the man who was shot as Shawn Jiminez, 31, of Lake St. Louis. The car was found about a block away, where it had struck a home. Jiminez was inside the car and pronounced dead at the scene. Police found the body in the vehicle when they arrived on the scene. Flagg told police that he fired his gun at the vehicle because the man was stealing it. At no time did he feel threatened.
"If we're going to have guns in this society, then we will have to be much more responsible," said St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar.
The St. Charles County Prosecutor says Flagg acted recklessly by shooting the man stealing his vehicle. There was no imminent threat during the crime. Police say that Flagg did not indicate that he was threatened.
Flagg is not currently in police custody. He is the gun owner and obtained the weapon legally. Police are confident that they will be able to place him under arrest. He has a $100,000 cash-only bond. Remember, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.