WARRENSBURG — The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday, April 6, it will not file charges against a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who fired upon and struck an armed and fleeing suspect on Feb. 3.
According to a release from the prosecutor’s office, a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper discharged his weapon at a person fleeing the scene of a traffic stop with an AR-15 style rifle in his hands at approximately 1:39 p.m. Feb. 3.
The prosecutor’s office stated the gunman turned toward the trooper, pointed his rifle at the trooper and the trooper fired a single round, striking the gunman.
The prosecutor’s office stated witnesses on the scene confirmed the trooper’s account of the incident.
The release also states the gunman was running toward a residential area and preschool, creating a risk of danger to residents and students.
The prosecutor’s office stated a search of the gunman’s car revealed a shotgun, boxes of ammunition and four Molotov-cocktail style improvised explosive devices.
The release states the gunman was later identified as Brendan D. Maline, 19.
Reports, photographs and videos were submitted to the prosecutor’s office following an investigation.
After reviewing the materials, the prosecutor’s office declined to file any charges against the trooper who fired upon and struck the armed and fleeing Maline as he was headed into the residential area containing a pre-school.
According to the prosecutor’s office, based on the reports, witness interviews, photographs and videos, the officer was justified in firing upon Maline.
“The trooper took swift action to protect the safety and welfare of himself and the officers on-scene as well as the residents and children of the area from a gunman whose vehicle contained Molotov cocktails and was up to something,” Prosecuting Attorney Robert Russell said in the release.