JACKSON, Mo. – A Missouri state trooper was justified in the shooting death of a suspect, a prosecutor ruled Friday.
The Southeast Missourian (http://bit.ly/2a3lOod ) reported that Cape Girardeau County prosecutor Chris Limbaugh issued the ruling in the death of Jeffrey Darrell Hobbs, 48, determining that Trooper Jason McBride was endangered "without question" by Hobbs' actions.
McBride shot Hobbs in April after a confrontation during a traffic stop near Cape Girardeau, about 100 miles south of St. Louis. The trooper stopped Hobbs after observing his vehicle swerving on Highway 177.
The State Highway Patrol said Hobbs was acting suspiciously, prompting the trooper to handcuff him. With one cuff on, Hobbs began to fight with the trooper and tried to break free, the patrol said.
Hobbs allegedly returned to his vehicle and began to drive, dragging the trooper along the side. The patrol said the trooper warned Hobbs to stop or he would be shot.
"The audio recording shows McBride repeatedly yelled for Hobbs to stop as the car engine was revving and accelerating," Limbaugh wrote in a letter to the highway patrol.
Hobbs continued to drive and the trooper fired two rounds, killing him. The trooper was treated at a hospital for cuts to the face.
"It is without question that Hobbs presented clear and immediate danger of serious physical injury to McBride," Limbaugh wrote. "These events are tragic, not criminal."
Limbaugh reviewed reports, photos and witness interviews, listened to audio recording of the incident and watched the dashboard camera video, his report said.
Hobbs was shot twice in the left side of the chest at close range, an autopsy showed. A toxicology report found Hobbs' blood and urine contained high levels of methamphetamine and Oxycodone. Both drugs were found inside the car and two Oxycodone pills were recovered from Hobbs' pocket, Limbaugh said.
Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com