Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney Dwight K. Scroggins announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed in the officer-involved shooting death of Samantha “Baby Girl” Hennard.
As previously reported, the shooting occurred on October 22, 2017, in the 2100 block of South 10th Street in St. Joseph. The St. Joseph Police Department officer involved in the shooting was identified as Branton G. Hutchison.
According to a news release from the Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted the investigation at the request of the police department. The investigation disclosed that police responded to the are of 9th St. and Sycamore St. in reference to a disturbance involving allegations of a stolen vehicle being located. While enroute, officers were informed two suspects had fled the original call location on foot and both were armed. Officer Hutchison located one of the suspects, 25-year-old Samantha Hennard, in the 2100 block of South 10th St. Hutchison ordered her to stop. Hennard did not stop and as she fled, turned and fired two shots at the pursuing officer. Hutchison returned fire and Hennard was hit one time. Emergency services were called and Hennard was pronounced deceased at the scene.
According to the news release, “A law enforcement officer is allowed to use deadly force if that officer has a reasonable belief the use of such force is necessary to protect himself or another from serious physical injury or death. Once fired upon in this instance, the officer’s belief that deadly force was permissible was not unreasonable and as a result, will not be the basis for any criminal charge allegations.”