Columbia’s police chief has announced that charges will not be filed against three CPD officers who were involved in a deadly 2020 officer-involved shooting.
The incident happened on Sun Court in March 2020, when officers tried to arrest child molestation suspect Curtis Haas. Haas died in an exchange of gunfire with police.
Chief Geoff Jones has announced that special prosecutor Christopher Wilson of Callaway County has investigated and that no charges will be filed against the three officers.
Chief Jones has released a letter from the special prosecutor, which says “it is my belief that the officers involved acted within the law when they shot Curtis Haas.”
The letter cites body-camera video footage obtained from the officers, along with video footage from a civilian eyewitness.
Based on the video footage, Prosecutor Wilson says Haas displayed a handgun while fleeing from officers and pointed the gun at a chasing officer. Wilson also says Haas barricaded himself in his home and was observed near windows, armed with a rifle. The two-page letter from Wilson says Haas pointed the rifle out the window at an officer, before the officer fired at Haas. Wilson, citing video evidence, says Haas then fired at an armored CPD vehicle in which officers were stationed. At least three officers returned fire, striking Haas, who was struck by three bullets.
Wilson says Haas was armed with several firearms, including rifles, pistols and a shotgun.
“It is clear from the video and reports that Haas did not intend to surrender to officers peacefully and was able and willing to use lethal force against those officers attempting to take him into custody,” Wilson writes.
The prosecutor also says Sun Court is a residential area, and that residents and officers were in danger that day due to Haas’ actions.