Settlement for family of man shot by police officer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Settlement for family of man shot by police officer

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Settlement for family of man shot by police officer
By: CJ Cassidy

STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. - A former police officer and sheriff's deputy will pay the family of 47-year-old Dennis Heberlie of Ste. Genevieve County $600,000.  Heberlie died after Officer Michael Coon fired a single shot at him back in November 2005.

Now, family members who witnessed their loved one's shooting say they weren't looking for a settlement.  Cathy Baumann says she can't forget the pain in her brother's eyes immediately after he was shot.

Baumann's teenage daughter let police into her grandmother's house, and says she'll never forget watching her uncle, a paranoid schozophrenic get shot.

"It was horrible. He murdered my uncle," 15-year-old Chelsey Baumann says.  Not according to the Missouri Attorney General.  He decided not to file charges against the officer in question; Officer Michael Coon.  Now Baumann's sister says a monetary settlement is not enough.

"We would just like Jay Nixon to reverse his decision; do whatever it takes - review the reports. Everyone deserves a fair trial, and just because he wore a badge doesn't make it different from you or me or anybody," she says.

Here's how it all began.

Conoco gas station managers in Ste. Genevieve called police after Heberlie caused some type of disturbance.  But when officers arrived, Heberlie took off.  After a short chase, Officer Coon tracked him down at the home he shared with his mother. Police reports indicate Coon struggled with Heberlie before firing, but his sister says that's not the way it happened.

"My brother was trying to get out the door, and they shot him. The bullet went all the way through hit the door."

For now, Heberlie's family says they try to remember him the way he used to be.

"If you had a bad day he would make you happy," Chelsey Baumann smiles.

"He would never hurt nobody, nobody," her mother adds.

The Sheriff's Deputy involved in the settlement was also in the house at the time of the shooting. He too never faced any charges, and is still with the County, but Officer Coon has since moved on.

We did try to contact the Attorney General's office but they were closed Sunday.

However, in a quote to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, earlier this week, a spokesman said they "declined to file charges, and made that decision based on whether or not criminal charges could be successfully prosecuted. Based on evidence and information presented to us we did not believe they could be.

The settlement amount does not change that.

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