The fatal shooting of a Black man in a trailer park is rocking a rural community in Missouri as neighbors who say they witnessed the killing dispute the police narrative of events, reports NBC News.
Justin King, a 28-year-old Black and Filipino man, was shot Nov. 3 at 11:45 a.m. in the small town of Bourbon, located about 73 miles southwest of St. Louis. Police say he was shot by the owner of a home he was trying to break into, but witnesses and family members say he was shot in “”cold blood” by a man he called his friend.
King succumbed to his wounds at the scene. The 42-year-old White neighbor who shot him was taken into custody and later released. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department said King was shot “after forcing entry into a neighboring residence where an altercation took place.” The homeowner “feared for his life” and shot King, the department said in a news release.
The department said evidence, video surveillance and statements “preliminarily corroborate the homeowner’s account of the events.”
But family members of King and five people who live in the trailer park told NBC News they doubt that narrative.
Three neighbors told NBC News the shooter was a man who had expressed a desire to kill someone, has a history of violence and was known to use racial epithets. Several neighbors said King and the shooter were friends.
Nimrod Chapel Jr., the president of the Missouri NAACP, who is representing the King family, said Justin King was shot outside the neighbor’s home and had not entered it, contrary to the sheriff’s account.
“The only person that says it’s a home invasion is the guy that shot my son,” King’s father, John King, told NBC News. “And all the neighbors are saying, ‘No, you shot him in cold blood outside.”