As we previously reported, Jason Fanning, 27 of St. Joseph was fatally wounded in the shooting incident that took place Monday at the intersection of 20th and Charles St. The Buchanan County Prosecutor’s Office Tuesday said it is working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol to investigate the incident.
The information provided by the FOP Northwest Missouri Regional Lodge 3 is as follows:
“In the early morning hours of February 20, 2017 an officer with the St. Joseph Police Department, who was on patrol with a female ride-along, attempted to make contact with a suspicious vehicle and its driver. The vehicle was registered to an individual with an active warrant connected to a domestic assault case. The officer positioned his car behind the suspect vehicle and approached it on foot. The driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, suddenly put the vehicle in reverse and struck the patrol car. As the officer gave clear verbal commands, the driver then pulled forward a few car lengths before reversing his vehicle and accelerating backwards again, almost striking the officer. The driver continued in reverse at a high rate of speed directly towards the ride-along, who was standing near the passenger door of the patrol car. Fearing for the life of his ride-along, the officer was forced to fire his weapon. Even after the officer fired, the vehicle still continued towards the ride-along, narrowly missing her and the front of the patrol car. The vehicle ultimately slammed into a tree, which caused large tree branches to fall on the officer, the ride-along, and the patrol car. The driver of the vehicle had a warrant for a violation of probation connected to a guilty plea for domestic assault. According to the probable cause statement in the prior domestic assault case, it was alleged that he threatened to kill the mother of his child with a knife after trying to run her and her children off the road with a car several times.”
Neither the prosecutor’s office nor the Missouri State Highway Patrol has issued any additional information since Tuesday. On Tuesday, Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Scroggins said the prosecutor’s office said the preliminary autopsy report indicates Fanning was killed by a single, penetrating gunshot wound. Also, Scroggins said there is a lot of additional work left to be done in the case.
“The Fraternal Order of Police understands and agrees the public has the right to know what has happened. We have also made requests of the agencies involved that this information be released,” the FOP said in its release. “This situation is a tragedy for all involved. We understand and appreciate public concern each time an officer is faced with the incredibly difficult, split-second decision to defend themselves or others against a potentially dangerous suspect.”
Police previously told us the officer has been placed on administrative leave. Scroggins said the investigation remains ongoing.