Woman Disputes Official Account of Sister's Shooting by Police at St. Louis Family Home | Law Firm Newswire

Woman Disputes Official Account of Sister’s Shooting by Police at St. Louis Family Home

St. Peters, MO, (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2015 - Case pits law enforcement against wife of sheriff’s lieutenant who is also daughter of ex-cop.

On May 9, St. Louis police fired multiple shots at a woman while she was at a family home, an encounter that has resulted in felony charges against her as well as her hospitalization with serious injuries. And within days of the shooting, the family has not only responded with outrage but also disputed the police account of the incident.

The woman, Jennifer Morgan-Tyra, 38, is being treated at St. Louis University Hospital after police shot her when responding to a report of an intruder at a house owned by her mother and inhabited by her disabled brother. Morgan-Tyra maintains a room at the house to help care for her brother. Morgan-Tyra is also the wife of a lieutenant with the St. Louis city sheriff’s office and is the daughter of a former police officer. Morgan-Tyra and her husband had plans to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary the night she was shot.

Morgan-Tyra’s relatives are disappointed with the police and have vigorously rebutted their account of the incident. Her sister, Becky, claims that Morgan-Tyra called the police after finding an intruder in the residence, held the intruder at bay with a handgun that was not loaded, and responded to the police demand to drop her weapon by pointing the barrel toward the floor — not refusing the order to drop her weapon, as police say. She also said that her sister turned away from police just before they fired 16 bullets into her back.

“Two key questions to be answered in this case will be whether the defendant was resisting arrest when police decided to shoot her and whether their response was proportionate,” said Charles James, a prominent criminal defense attorney in St. Peters, Mo. “As a caregiver for her brother and part-time resident at the house, the woman was clearly not a trespasser and would be entitled to carry a handgun at the family home under Missouri law.”

Prosecutors on May 11 announced that they charged Morgan-Tyra with second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action.

Police say that Morgan-Tyra began to raise her handgun, not lower it, when they demanded that she drop the weapon. As a result, they say, one of the officers on the scene, fearing for his safety, fired his department-issued firearm at Morgan-Tyra, striking her in the chest. Also, one police source has reportedly said that the officer fired his gun seven times at her.

“This incident certainly has some unusual elements and has occurred against the backdrop of already strained police-community relations in the St. Louis metro area,” James said. “But it is essential for anyone facing criminal charges to seek the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney, whether or not they believe that they have been detained or arrested without a basis.”

James Law Group, LLC
14 Richmond Center Court
St. Peters, MO 63376

Phone: 636.397.2411
Toll Free: 800.229.7112

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