Stand Your Ground laws complicate Florissant Show-Me's shooting case, prosecutor says

The man who opened fire inside a Florissant Show-Me's Wednesday, killing one man and injuring another, is not facing ...

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 6:20 PM
Updated: Feb 11, 2018 6:20 PM

The man who opened fire inside a Florissant Show-Me's Wednesday, killing one man and injuring another, is not facing charges 24-hours after his arrest.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch held a press conference Friday to explain why the shooter was released and why no charges had been filed or refused during the man's time in police custody.

"There was no charge that could be filed yesterday," he said. "There was not sufficient information."

Despite multiple videos from inside the Show-Me's in the 1700 block of New Florissant Road and more than 20 witness interviews, McCulloch said there was not enough clear evidence to determine whether the man acted in defense or as the aggressor.

Complicating matters is the shifting nature of self defense laws and how those intersect with weapons laws.

"Defense is always a consideration we look at, but now there's defense of others, who's the aggressor, who's the initial aggressor," McCulloch said. "The way the law keeps changing with Stand Your Ground and where you can take guns and all that information, it's going to take awhile to sort through this."

Scott Beary, of Manchester, was shot and killed in the incident and Ryan Jacobsmeyer ,37, of Troy, Mo, who was Beary's friend and co-worker, was injured.

According to Jeana Sellenschuetter, Beary's friend and employer at CSM Construction, Beary's friend said the argument began during a conversation about the weight of one of the patron's German Shepherds.

It wasn't until Beary and his friend were about to leave that the argument turned physical, according to police.

Police say that's when the man shot and killed Beary.

Prosecutors only have video from the incident. For an understanding of what was said, they've relied on witness interviews. Some overheard parts of the conversation and some were taking part in it, according to McCulloch.

Even with plenty of witnesses and video, prosecutors weren't able to gather enough concrete information to charge the shooter. If no charges are issued within 24 hours of taking someone into custody, legally that person is free to go.

McCulloch doesn't believe the shooter is a danger to any of the witnesses or the public at large.

"I don't anticipate this individual would be an issue," he said.

For now, McCulloch's office is still gathering and reviewing surveillance video and waiting on toxicology reports. While some witnesses may be re-interviewed once all the evidence is gathered, McCulloch said he hopes to have everything completed by the end of next week. At that point, they'll make the decision on whether to charge the shooter.

"He may end up charged at some point, he may not," McColluch said. "We have time to go through everything thoroughly and check it against the various statutes that come into play on this. Not just homicide statutes, but defense statutes, self defense, stand your ground, everything that plays into that. Which in this situation has certainly complicated things."

Beary was a father of three, a loving dad and husband, according to friends.

"He was the salt of the earth," Sellenschuetter said. "He was a teddy bear."

The shooting comes just days after Beary and his family laid his 11-day daughter to rest after complications from a premature birth.

"We put her to rest and we were all healing and now this happens," said Sellenschuetter, "and so we're going to start all over again and we're going to be in that same church that we were just inside on Sunday and it's not fair."

She started a GoFundMe page aiming to raise money for the family.

The suspect's name has not been released by police.

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