Man wielding sword shot twice, killed by police officer

Murray Asberry
Murray Asberry
A cross stands in the place where Asberry was shot.
A cross stands in the place where Asberry was shot.
The victim's mother asks why police shot her son.
The victim's mother asks why police shot her son.

CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - One person is dead following a Tuesday afternoon shooting that involved a law enforcement officer, according to Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Clark Parrott.

Parrott says Charleston Police received a call about a mentally disturbed man.

Parrott says the man is Murray Asberry. Police followed him with a car and Parrott says the man threw a rock at a police officer's vehicle, ran into a house and came out with a sword.

Parrott says Asberry came after Police Chief Robert Hearnes with the sword and nicked him on the hand.  Police used a Taser on Asberry twice and when he continued to come at the officers, a police officer shot him.

Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker says preliminary autopsy results show Asberry was shot twice.  Parker says Asberry was shot once in the left front shoulder area and once in the left lower back.

But people in the community, including, Asberry's mother, say the officer shouldn't have pulled the trigger.

"Why in the world do you shoot him, he's harmless, down from being tased," said Asberry's mother Carolyn J. Young. "Tase him again, do anything to my child. Tase him one two, three, anything but shoot him."

"I promise you they didn't have to do that," said Asberry's sister Naomi Wince. "They didn't have to do that, they could have tased him. He was already down. He was already down, they didn't have to do that."

"If they took that young man's life, my young son's life, when they didn't have to do it, I cannot understand it," said Young. "Tase him two, three, four times.  Don't shoot him.  Cause he wasn't no robot.  He was a human being."

"I see him run out of his house, he did have something in his hand, but he didn't stop at the police, he ran straight out in front of the middle of the street, he was running from the police and when he got out in the middle of the street, that's when they started tasing him," said Asberry's sister Delores Young.

Hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the shooting afterward. Eric Cassell says he tried to keep them calm.

"This can really happen anywhere and I know law enforcement, they have a tough job," said Cassell. "It's not easy. Any situation you can't really depict how you're going to handle it. How you're going to act, react, or how you're going to respond, but maybe in this particular situation, it could have been handled differently."

"I seen the blood everywhere, I mean I seen it everywhere because I could never dream, and I heard the shots, I swear to god I see the shots, and I see the taser and I see him go down I see everything," said Wince.

"If they tased him once, twice, they could have tased him three or four times, anything but shoot him and kill him," said Young.

"Everyone knew G-Unit as he was called, and no one can really believe it either," said Cassell. "And everybody, you haven't gotten the real facts yet, but it's hard. In a situation like this, its never easy. It's never easy, and we just like to find out what really happened."

The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating the shooting.

"The reason we're called in to investigate is because we're an unbiased third party," said Trooper Parrott.  "Our ultimate goal is to find out what happened and why so that the family can have closure."

Parrott says they are interviewing people and analyzing evidence.

The funeral for Murray Asberry is at the Lincoln School in Charleston Saturday at noon.

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