Neighbors dispute self-defense claim after Missouri man shot dead

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CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mo. — Neighbors have a different account from what authorities said happened during a fatal shooting in Bourbon, Missouri. Justin King was shot to death in the yard of his neighbor’s house just before noon on Nov. 3.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting victim was trying to break into a neighbor’s house before the shooting. Two neighbors said they were outside when they heard a commotion followed by gunshots.

“I heard one of them say, ‘Hey, I thought we were friends!’ And you hear the other one say ‘Well, we were!’ And then you hear pop, pop, pop,” said neighbor Earl McCoy Jr.

McCoy said he looked over to see 28-year-old Justin King laying in the front yard of his neighbor. Mccoy said the shooter then yelled, “Y’all better call 911. You all better call 911 for your boy!”

We’re not naming the man accused of shooting King because he has not been charged and was released after questioning.

In a Facebook post, Crawford County Sheriff wrote: “It appears that King was shot and killed after forcing entry into a neighbor’s residence where an altercation took place. The homeowner stated that he feared for his life and shot King.”

Amanda Osewalt worked with King and has her own suspicions.

“No one believes the story of him breaking into a house,” she said. “It was not him. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body.”

Dwoyne DeJean was King’s boss. He said King was clocked in, working virtually for their call center business. DeJean said he could see that King had recently left a chat room before he was shot.

“He was literally on a 15-minute break,” DeJean said. “A kid can be gunned down in front of his house while he’s at work, and nobody cares enough to dig a little deeper.”

King’s family sent FOX 2 a screenshot of a surveillance video from inside King’s trailer, taken the morning of the shooting. They said it shows the shooter inside King’s home. Fifty minutes later, King’s sister said he’d left the trailer dressed like this to help a neighbor find a lost dog.

“There’s no way he was outside in his pajamas trying to break into anybody’s house. It just doesn’t make any sense,” said King’s sister Jeneva Bruns.

King’s mother, Eva Bruns, said she’s concerned no one cares enough to find the truth.

“We ask a lot of questions, and no one gives us answers,” she said.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Facebook post about possible self-defense has since been removed and a spokesman said it has sent its investigation to the prosecutor’s office for a formal review.

FOX 2’s Chris Hayes also talked to a relative of the shooter’s family today who declined to talk on camera. They said they are also very sad about what happened as they too await a decision by prosecutors.

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