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Mo. officer will not face charges in firefighter's death

The officer was responding to an assault when the suspect, a firefighter, began assaulting the officer, causing him sever head injuries

By Brian Burnes
The Kansas City Star

JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. — A Jackson County grand jury has ruled that no charges should be filed against a Kansas City police officer who shot and killed Anthony Bruno, a Kansas City firefighter, in December.

The grand jury issued a no true bill, meaning the case concludes without charges.

The shooting occurred during a struggle between Bruno, who had been celebrating his recent wedding, and Donald Hubbard, a police officer responding to a reported assault.

"This is a great tragedy, not only for the Bruno family but for so many others touched by this incident," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

"I would respectfully ask that the media and the community support all the families involved and respect their privacy."

Early on Dec. 1, Hubbard received information that someone had assaulted a taxicab driver in front of a hotel near 12th and Wyandotte streets, according to a police statement issued shortly after the incident.

The driver told Hubbard that the man punched him in the back of the head and hit him with a fist in the face and on the right side of his torso.

When Hubbard tried to detain a man a block away, "the man began to resist and then assault the officer," according to the police account.

Bruno, the statement added, "pinned the officer to the ground and struck him multiple times about his face and head. Fearing for his life, the officer eventually fired his handgun, striking the man."

Bruno, 26, a third-generation firefighter, died at a hospital.

Hubband, a 17-year veteran of the Police Department and a 25-year veteran of the Army National Guard, suffered "severe head injuries," according to a police statement.

Hubbard was working in uniform in an off-duty capacity for a downtown business, according to the police.

An autopsy released Friday documented that Bruno died of "multiple penetrating gunshot wounds" to the chest.

Baker thanked the Jackson County residents who sat on the grand jury for their service. Grand jury proceedings in Missouri are secret, and Baker said her office would offer no further comment on the case.

A Kansas City Fire Department spokesman had no comment on the announcement.

Copyright 2014 The Kansas City Star

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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