Ladue officer charged with second-degree assault for shooting alleged shoplifter

An attorney for the officer says it is not worthy of an assault charge because she made a mistake and meant to reach for her taser

May 01, 2019 - 2:11 pm

LADUE, Mo. (KMOX) - Ladue Police officer Julie Crews, who shot a woman after an alleged shoplifting incident, has been charged with second-degree assault. St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell announced the charge during a press conference, Wednesday. 

The victim from the April 23 incident in the Schnucks parking lot on Ladue Road is still in the hospital and in very serious condition, according to the victim's family.

The bond for Crews has been set at $20,000. The 37-year-old is a 13-year veteran of the Ladue Police Department. 

Bell says at the time of the shooting, charging documents say the officer had shouted "taser, taser," at the fleeing suspect, but the officer fired her gun. An attorney for the officer says it was a mistake because she meant to reach for her taser, but "in the heat of the moment" mistakenly grabbed her gun. He says it is not worthy of an assault charge.

Bell says the case warrants charges becuase the officer's life was not in danger. 

Ladue Mayor Nancy Spewak said in a statement: “We are heartbroken over the course of events in the last week. We take great pride in our community policing efforts, and we strive to treat every member of the public with respect and integrity, despite the natural conflicts that occur when police are called to aid a potential criminal situation."

Police had been working since last week's incident to piece together what happened and were asking for the public's help to identify some of the suspects. The woman who was shot was in critical condition, but expected to survive, according to police last week.

Related: Officer under investigation after shooting suspected shoplifter in Ladue

The Ladue officer was placed on paid administrative leave after an investigation began into why she shot and critically wounded a shoplifting suspect in the parking lot of the Ladue Crossing shopping center.

Around 3 p.m. on April 23 police responded to a call of shoplifting and a strong-armed robbery at the Schnucks on Ladue Road.

Related: Another witness sought in Ladue police shooting

Detectives had obtained surveillance video of the shooting and were gathering statements from witnesses. Three days after the shooting, police were looking for a male suspect, then asked for help locating another woman who may had been involved.

A spokesperson said the 37-year-old female Ladue officer shot a 33-year-old female suspect in the parking lot. What led up to the shooting was not clear, as of early this week.

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