No Charges Against Deputy Involved in Halloween Shooting

Published 11/20 2013 01:29PM

Updated 11/21 2013 08:48AM

(SAVANNAH, Mo.) Andrew County Prosecutor Steven Stevenson has released his office's review of the investigation into a deputy-involved shooting on Halloween night that ended in the death of a Gower man.

Stevenson says the State will not file criminal charges against deputy William J. (B.J.) Fisher, the Buchanan County Deputy who fired the shots that killed Eric Auxier.

In a letter addressed to Sgt. Brad Ussary of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Andrew County Sheriff Bryan Atkins, Stevenson details what an investigation into the night's events revealed.

According to the investigation, Fisher and deputy William P. Miller, both with the Buchanan County Drug Strike Force, pursued a red Dodge Charger out of St. Joseph and into Andrew County. The deputies had tried to stop the Charger after observing traffic violations. The Charger failed to stop and led the deputies off K Highway in Andrew County onto County Road 373.

After the Charger pulled into a parking lot, Fisher positioned the deputies vehicle, at an angle, behind the Charger. Miller then began to exit from the passenger side, while Fisher exited the driver's side and ran around the back of the deputies' vehicle.

Auxier, the driver of the Charger, backed his car into the passenger side of the deputies' vehicle, pinning Miller's leg between the door and the car. Fisher heard Miller scream but could not see him because he had fallen into the passenger seat of the car.

Auxier continued to back into the deputies' vehicle and toward Fisher. Fisher then drew his firearm and fired into the driver's side rear window. He also fired twice into the left rear passenger window and the driver's side window as Auxier swung the Charger to the right and away from the deputies' vehicle. Auxier then drove the Charger directly toward Fisher. Fisher fired twice more into the driver's side windshield. Fisher avoided the Charger as it drove passed him and hit a mailbox stand and a wooden post before coming to a rest.

Fisher only remembered firing four shots, but evidence at the scene indicated he fired six. Auxier was hit five times, with the sixth shot hitting the center of Auxier's head rest. Auxier was declared dead on the scene.

According to Stevenson's letter, Auxier had an outstanding felony warrant from Putnam County and had been convicted of at least four felonies ranging from burglary to resisting arrest. Stevenson says preliminary advice from the autopsy indicated Auxier had an elevated blood alcohol level at the time of his death.

Stevenson states in the letter that the State finds Fisher's actions, "completely justified and that there is no basis for criminal charges." Stevenson said Fisher's use of deadly force was necessary to prevent Auxier's escape and because Auxier was attempting to use the Charger as a deadly weapon.

Stevenson added that, in his opinion, "Fisher is to be commended for his courage, not to mention his composure in this highly charged emotional situation."

Two passengers were in Auxier's car. Brittany Anderson is charged with third-degree assault of an officer and second-degree property damage.

A third passenger has told investigators that Auxier said he was not pulling over despite his pleas for Auxier to stop the car.

The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office says Fisher remains on administrative leave pending an in-house investigation. Miller will return to active duty once he is medically cleared.

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