SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a former sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot his daughter during a traffic stop last year.
John Fizer, the father of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer, argues in his lawsuit that her death could have been avoided if former Pettis County Deputy Jordan Schutte had followed accepted police practices, The Kansas City Star reported.
Schutte shot Hannah Fizer five times as she sat in her car during a June 13 traffic stop in Sedalia after he pulled her over in the city about 75 miles (120 kilomters) east of Kansas City for running a light and speeding. He told Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators that she had refused to identify herself, had a gun and threatened to shoot him.
The lawsuit contends that radio traffic shows Fizer identified herself and did not record her making any threats. She did not have a gun. Despite his claim that Fizer had threatened to shoot him, Schutte did not take cover, call for help or try to deescalate the situation, according to the lawsuit.
After the shooting, Schutte kept his gun pointed at Fizer as she remained motionless until paramedics arrived about five minutes later, according to the lawsuit.
A special prosecutor said in September that the shooting was “possibly avoidable” but ruled it was justified because it could not be said that Schutte’s belief he was in danger was unreasonable.
Schutte was reinstated to the force but is no longer working for the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Brad Anders said Thursday. Schutte didn’t immediately reply to a message left at a Sedalia number listed as his.