After months of outcry from a Missouri community, the death of a Black and Filipino man shot and killed by his white neighbor was ruled a justifiable homicide.
On November 3, Justin King, 28, was fatally shot in his Bourbon, Missouri trailer park community located approximately 75 miles outside of St. Louis. King's family and other neighbors have disputed initial claims made by police about how he died.
The original report of the Crawford County Sheriff's Office said that King was shot after "forcing entry into a neighboring residence" where the homeowner "feared for his life." But Nimrod Chapel Jr., the NAACP of Missouri President, said King was shot outside the neighbor's home and had not gone inside.
In an inquest Tuesday (January 11), a panel of six county residents ruled King's killing a justified homicide, after receiving a packet of evidence and hearing witness statements.
"The family is distraught. They were promised the evidence, and what they ended up with was seeing their son being vilified," Chapel told NBC News after the inquest.
"They do not accept the findings of the coroner's jury and have great issues with the process and the manner in which that finding was found and has been articulated," Chapel said, adding that the family is seeking other avenues to get justice.
"The only person that says it's a home invasion is the guy that shot my son," King's father, John King has said previously.
"And all the neighbors are saying, 'No, you shot him in cold blood outside.'" The victim's father also noted that Justin was the only Black resident in the community and believes the shooting was "racially motivated hate."
King's family says the 28-year-old had moved to Bourbon from St. Louis to be closer to his daughter.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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