A February shooting from Boone County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steven Verble against 37-year-old Blain Johnson is being ruled as justified by Audrain County prosecuting attorney Jacob Shellabarger.
The incident happened after a deputy initiated a traffic stop for a stolen vehicle suspected of being involved in a potential kidnapping.
After the vehicle failed to stop in the Lake of the Wood area in Columbia it was driven into a field near Rangeline and Richland Roads.
As Deputy Verble arrived on the scene beside Johnson the man fled on foot and pointed a handgun at a range of less than ten yards.
Deputy Verble then fired six shots, one of which hit Johnson in the head, causing death.
Other deputies and officers immediately aided Johnson, however they were unable to bring him back to life.
Shellabarger deemed Verble’s conduct as reasonable with the immediate threat Johnson presented by pointing a 9mm handgun at Verble while also resisting by fleeing.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for Audrain County was named as Special Prosecuting Attorney after the recusal of the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.