SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The mother of Caleb Slay, a 25-year-old man shot and killed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in the front yard of his Springfield home, has filed a civil lawsuit.
“He was unjustly shot and unjustly murdered,” said Caleb’s mother, Tina Slay. “Murder is murder. Whether you wear a badge or not.”
The civil lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and lists two DEA agents as defendants in the case, as well as a sergeant with the Springfield Police Department.
The lawsuit states that Caleb Slay complied with agents’ demands and was shot in the head several times from close range and no life-saving measures were taken by the sergeant from SPD.
“I am very much looking forward to all of the evidence, all of the witnesses coming forward, hearing their story and getting the truth,” Slay said. “Because for three years, the truth has not been present at all.”
On November 2, 2020, a search warrant filed by the Springfield Police Department stated that DEA Agents witnessed a man named Casey Ray engage in the sale of drugs. He was eventually pulled over in a U-haul truck in the 1800 block of South Maryland Avenue.
That warrant states that agents pulled the truck over near the home of Caleb Slay. Slay was already sitting in front of his home in a car. As he got out and walked toward his door, agents approached, an altercation ensued and Caleb was then shot.
Prosecutors say Caleb was armed, resisting, and toxicology results from the autopsy show that Slay had methamphetamine in his system at the time.
But Tina Slay does not believe her son should have been shot that day by agents.
“If you carry a gun and you do everything that you’re supposed to do, you should not end up dead,” Slay said.
Greene County prosecutor, Dan Patterson, ruled the deadly shooting in November 2020 was justified.
Now, Slay’s mom is suing on his behalf and is in the process of writing two bills. One called “Caleb’s Law” would mandate a 72-hour hold on releasing victim’s names to the public.
“In this instance, Caleb’s name was released 20 minutes after I was notified and his little sister, at 9 years old, heard about it on the local news instead of being surrounded by her family,” Slay said. “Her brother was everything to her. And she didn’t deserve that trauma.”
The plaintiff in the case, Slay’s mother, is calling for a jury trial in the civil lawsuit.
“I told him three years ago that I had him and I meant it,” Slay said. “And I will not give up and I will not stop.”