FRUITLAND, Mo. – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating after a trooper fatally shot a suspect following a traffic stop.
The shooting happened Friday night in a rural area near Fruitland in southeast Missouri. The patrol said Jeffrey Darrell Hobbs, 48, of Jackson, was swerving on Missouri Route 177 when the trooper initiated a stop. The trooper's name was not released.
Hobbs pulled into a private driveway. Once confronted by the trooper, he began to act suspiciously, patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott said Monday.
The trooper began to handcuff Hobbs but had just one hand cuffed when Hobbs attacked him, striking the trooper several times with the loose handcuff, Parrott said. Hobbs managed to pull the trooper to Hobbs' vehicle, and he began to drive.
"He was dragging the trooper" alongside the vehicle, making circles in the yard where the stop occurred, Parrott said. "At some point the trooper was able to reach inside the car and turn off the ignition."
Parrott said the reason why the trooper wasn't able to let go remains under investigation.
Hobbs restarted the vehicle and again began to drive. The trooper warned him to stop or he would shoot. When Hobbs continued to drive, the trooper fired two shots.
One struck Hobbs, killing him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The trooper was treated at a hospital for cuts and abrasions. He is a 15-year patrol veteran, and is on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Parrott said investigators are reviewing dashcam video from the trooper's car. Because the investigation is ongoing, that video is not available to the public, Parrott said.
Jowanda Brown, who arrived at the scene and said she was Hobbs' girlfriend, doubted the police account.
"They said they stopped him trying to assault a police officer, which I find very hard to believe," Brown told the Southeast Missourian newspaper. "He did not deserve this. This is wrong."