The fatal shooting of a Black man in a trailer park is rocking a rural community in Missouri as neighbors who say they witnessed the killing dispute the police narrative of events. Justin King, a 28-year-old Black and Filipino man, was shot Nov. 3 at 11:45 a.m. in the small town of Bourbon. It is located about 73 miles southwest of St. King. He succumbed to his wounds at the scene. The 42-year-old white neighbor who shot him was taken into custody and later released.
Deputies interviewed witnesses, collected evidence and surveillance footage from the scene after taking a 42-year-old man into custody. Crawford County authorities said the man shot and killed King because King forced his way into the man’s home. The NAACP and King’s family held a press conference at William C. Harris Funeral Home in Spanish Lake Thursday.
“The man that murdered my son and my son were friends,” Justin’s father, John King said. “They had been in each other’s homes. The neighbors told me that Justin came out of his house trying to rescue a neighbor’s dog and **** came out and shot him in the chest. They have footage, but I’d like to see the footage. If you’re going to claim my son did something show me.””He didn’t deserve to die like that, never in his life did Justin deserve to die like that,” said Eva Bruns, King’s mother.
Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were present at the rally to support the family. They called out what they see as a pattern of rural county sheriffs failing to investigate and prosecute suspicious deaths like King’s. “Last week in Bourbon, Missouri, Justin was murdered,” said Nimrod Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri chapter of the NAACP. “We can’t have any more families asking, you know, why and what happened–at a minimum, that’s what we as citizens deserve.”
Police say he was shot by the owner of a home he was trying to break into, but witnesses and family members say he was shot in “cold blood” by a man he called his friend. On Nov. 16, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department said the investigation into King’s death is still open and evidence is being processed and sent off for lab analysis. The department also said an informal case review was conducted with the Crawford County prosecutor’s office, and there will be follow-ups with witnesses and evidence collection.