Fatal Shooting of 13-Year-Old May Test Self-Defense Law
The fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who authorities say was caught rummaging through a car in St. Louis for pocket change could test Missouri's castle doctrine.
In a prepared statement, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said the case was a tragedy and that Missouri's self-defense law is complicated. It allows for the use of deadly force when people encounter intruders in homes and vehicles.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports prosecutors said Monday that they are reviewing the case. According to police, Martinez Smith-Payne and two other boys were stealing from an unlocked vehicle Sunday when a 60-year-old man confronted them and shot Martinez. The 13-year-old was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The man was arrested, but released after prosecutors did not charge him.