ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A prosecutor for St. Charles County has decided that the use of deadly force by two police officers on Jan. 17 was justified.
Police dashcam video showed a police pursuit along Interstate 70 that Tuesday night. The pursuit ended with officers shooting a suspect who, they claim, pointed a gun at police. The video has been released following the conclusion of the investigation.
Investigators from the St. Charles County Regional Crime Reduction Task Force said that the license plate of a pickup truck did not match the vehicle. When officers tried to make a traffic stop, the driver sped away. Spike strips flattened the truck’s tires.
Video from police body cameras showed a man and woman running out of the pickup to evade police. At one point in the video, the suspect raises his hand in the direction of officers.
An officer shouted, “Drop the gun; drop the gun; drop the gun.”
Several gunshots are heard on the recording. The man was wounded, transported to a hospital, and later died. He was later identified as Sonny Vincent. The female was arrested without injury and has been charged with several crimes.
The St. Charles County Prosecutor’s Office sent a letter to the Wentzville Police Chief detailing the investigation’s determination. In the letter, prosecutor Tim Lohmar said that Vincent possessed, showed, and seemed to try to discharge his firearm at the officers and that the officers who fired their guns thought they and other officers nearby were in serious danger of getting hurt.
Lohmar’s letter also states Vincent did not comply with the police when they attempted to stop him, and ran in a way that put lives in danger. One of the officers who fired shots is from the St. Charles Police Department. The other officer is with the St. Peters Police Department.