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Lawsuit: ‘No reasonable officer’ would have shot, killed Hannah Fizer

Hannah Fizer father speaks with 41 Action News
Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 16:42:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of Hannah Fizer alleges that “no reasonable officer” would have shot and killed her under the circumstances during a traffic stop on June 13, 2020.

Fizer’s father, John Fizer, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Pettis County court Wednesday seeking damages against Pettis County Deputy Jordan Schutte.

Schutte fatally shot Fizer, 25, after pulling her over in Sedalia, Missouri.

Early reports indicated Fizer told the deputy she had a gun and would shoot him, though no gun was found in her vehicle.

The lawsuit argues the shooting was an unjustified, an excessive use of force and that Schutte did not follow several standard law enforcement protocols during the stop.

Fizer’s family claims Schutte failed to try to deescalate the situation in any way, and instead took an offensive approach.

When the deputy felt he was in danger, the lawsuit alleges he did not call for backup or take a defensive position as commonly taught in “universally accepted police procedures.”

Instead, he moved toward the front of Fizer’s car into a better firing position, according to the suit.

“Schutte had the ability and responsibility to prevent the use of deadly force against Ms. Fizer but failed to do so,” the lawsuit reads. “His actions contributed to Ms. Fizer’s avoidable death.”

The family says Schutte made several claims contrary to video evidence.

A special prosecutor reviewed the case and determined no charges could be filed against Schutte under Missouri law, which states a law enforcement officer may use deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger.

The prosecutor did say the shooting was "possibly avoidable."

Schutte was back at work at the Pettis County Sheriff's Office by October.