Officer Jason Shuck, an 11-year veteran of the department, is charged with 3rd degree assault for shooting Eric David Butts. Butts was on probation and parole for burglary.
He was shot near Bennett and Glenstone after Shuck was called to check out a complaint about a panhandler. According to the investigation, Shuck was talking to Butts, who allegedly gave a false name, when Butts suddenly took off running.
The police probable cause statement (above) also says Shuck drew "what he believed to be a TASER from his duty belt and pointed it at Butts' upper back. He ordered Butts to stop, but when he got no response, he fired, realizing then he had pointed his duty weapon rather than the TASER.
After reviewing evidence in the case, prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges of 3rd degree assault Thursday against Shuck.
According to court documents, Shuck carried a TASER on his left side and would have to reach across his body with his dominant right hand to draw the TASER from his duty belt.
Shuck told another officer after the shooting, 'I meant to pull my TASER, but pulled my gun.' According to the police probable cause statement, during an interview with investigators Shuck said 'The best explanation that I have is that my...brain was saying TASER and...but m y body moved faster than my brain and because it...it was less than a...if I had to estimate it, it was less than half a second I had it drawn and...and had squeezed the trigger on what I thought was the TASER.'
In a news release, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said; "...the unintentional use of deadly force by Springfield Police Officer Jason Shuck during his foot pursuit of an unarmed fleeing felon on May 9, 2014, near the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Glenstone Avenue was not a justifiable use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.
Shuck has been on paid administrative leave since the May 9 shooting.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge August 11.
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