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No charges for Missouri officer who fatally shot suspect

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 18:28:09-05

O'FALLON, Mo. — A Missouri police officer who killed a man during a shootout on Interstate 44 last year was "fully justified" and will not face criminal charges, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said Wednesday.

Qavon Webb, 23, died in a shootout May 5 with the Webster Groves officer whose name was not released. The officer was shot but survived.

Dashboard camera video shows the officer pulling over to check on Webb, whose car was stopped in the left lane. As the officer approaches Webb's car, Webb emerges and begins shooting, Bell's office said in a news release. The officer was struck several times but was mostly protected by his bulletproof vest.

The officer returned fire with 13 shots, four of which struck Webb. A bullet to the chest proved fatal.

"The officer's use of lethal force was fully justified," Bell said. "In fact, his use of force - and the protective gear that blocked a gunshot to his chest - saved his own life. We are thankful that the officer reacted quickly, and that his life was spared."

Bell said his office's Conviction and Incident Review Unit also conducted a review. Bell, who was elected in 2018, established the review team to investigate incidents involving police officers.

Video evidence from the officer's dashboard camera "was essential in establishing the facts" in the case, and demonstrated the value of police cameras, Bell said.