Posted on January 12, 2022

Death of Black Missouri Man Shot by White Neighbor Is Ruled a Justifiable Homicide

Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, January 11, 2022

The death of Justin King, a Black and Filipino man who was fatally shot Nov. 3 in rural Missouri, was ruled a justifiable homicide in an inquest Tuesday after months of outcry from the community.

King, 28, was shot by his neighbor in a trailer park community in Bourbon, about 75 miles southwest of St. Louis.

The ruling comes more than two months after his death and after his family and neighbors contested the police narrative of events.

Six county residents were presented with evidence and heard from witnesses about the case at the Crawford County Courthouse to help the coroner determine the manner of death.

The proceeding started at 9 a.m. and ended around 6 p.m., when the panel concluded that the shooting was justified, said Nimrod Chapel Jr., the president of the Missouri NAACP, who is representing the King family.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office initially said King was shot after “forcing entry into a neighboring residence” where the homeowner “feared for his life.”

But Chapel said King was shot outside the neighbor’s home and had not entered it.


Under Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law, people are allowed to use deadly force against intruders without the duty to retreat, based on the notion that their home is “their castle.”

King’s family and local residents marched and held protests in Bourbon, demanding accountability.