COLUMBIA, Mo. - According to new court documents, a new Missouri gun law could be the reason Karl Henson shot a man attempting to rob him Monday night.
The incident happened on Riva Ridge Court in northeast Columbia. Henson called in a robbery at about 5 p.m. and stated he had shot at the alleged would-be thief six or seven times.
Police said the man and Henson had met up on Riva Ridge to discuss whether or not the man wanted to buy Henson's cellphone.
Henson said the man was looking at the phone and then suddenly took off with it and started running toward the duplexes on the cul-de-sac.
That's when Henson said he shot at him and saw the would-be buyer fall to the ground "hard". He then got back up and continued running.
Henson said he thought he might have hit him and police used a K9 track. Police said the victim ended up driving himself to a local hospital.
The probable-cause statement indicates a witness who lived in a duplex nearby heard the shots and walked outside. He saw a man with his hands in his pockets and limping. When the witness asked if the man was OK, the man ignored him and kept walking.
Henson told police "the only reason I thought it was OK to shoot at him while he was running away was because of what happened with the new year on the law change."
Officer Spirit Stevens, who wrote the probable-cause statement, said Henson stated something along the lines of "the old law, you weren't allowed to shoot somebody when their back was turned to you."
Henson could be alluding to several new gun laws that are now in effect, including a stand your ground right, meaning people no longer have a duty to retreat from danger before shooting in any place where they have a legal right to be present.
Columbia police also warn mid-Missourians to be careful about transactions such as the one that took place Monday night. They recommend making sales in the Columbia Police Department lobby.
"It's ensuring that if somebody is going to try and pull something shady on you, it's not going to happen at the police department," said Columbia police spokesperson Bryana Larimer. "Chances are the moment you tell them 'I want to meet at the police department to do this,' they're going to turn around and say they're not interested anymore."
If you can't get to the police station for the meet up, police also recommend meeting in a public place during the day and bringing someone with you.
Police are still investigating and could not confirm if the would-be thief will also be charged.