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Springfield prosecutor says fatal shooting was justified

Sunday, November 23, 2003

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old burglary suspect by a Springfield police officer was justified, Greene County Prosecutor Darrell Moore said.

Officer Gavin Hartsell killed Michael Meadows, of Strafford, on Oct. 8 after Meadows pointed a stolen revolver at officer Jeff Ferneau.

Hartsell told Meadows several times to disarm, Moore said.

Meadows was wanted for burglary and auto theft in Strafford, police said. Meadows was eventually tracked to Springfield, where police found him at an apartment complex hiding under a small wooden table covered with a piece of carpet.

Investigators say Meadows was pointing the gun at his own temple. Meadows then raised the gun toward Ferneau.

"It's unfortunate because he was so young," Moore said. "You cannot go around pointing guns at people, especially law enforcement officers who are telling you to drop the gun."

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