SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield police officer faces a misdemeanor assault charge after shooting a fleeing panhandler from behind.
Thirty-five-year-old Jason Shuck is charged with third-degree assault after the early May shooting near a Walmart Neighborhood Market. Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announced the charge Thursday.
A probable cause statement shows that Springfield resident Eric Butts was standing outside the store with a cardboard sign saying he had lost his job and was "in need of help." Police were called because Butts had an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear in court.
Shuck told investigators he instead meant to shoot Butts with a stun gun, but the probable cause statement notes that the officer had to reach across his body to draw a much lighter Taser attached to his left side.