Eighth circuit: Officer justified in shooting of unarmed suspect in Missouri

The court’s ruling recognizes the life-threatening dynamics involved in split-second confrontations between police and aggressive suspects


Carl Storm, a police officer in Bourbon, Missouri, was by himself on routine patrol during daylight hours on March 5, 2014, when he observed Gary Wenzel drive by him with improper tags on his vehicle.

Storm recognized Wenzel and recalled he had responded to a domestic dispute involving the suspect. Storm had also been previously informed by Wenzel’s brother that Wenzel was dangerous, and Storm should be careful when dealing with him.

Storm had likewise previously been informed that Wenzel had engaged in physical altercations with other officers and fled from a prior attempt to pull him over for improper tags. Storm was also aware that Wenzel was currently under investigation for methamphetamine distribution. Storm was told by Wenzel’s nephew on the same day that this event occurred that Wenzel had told him he was not going back to jail.

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