Socialite Shooting Cop
Police Respond To 'Active Shooting' In Raleigh, North Carolina Alejo Reinoso/Unsplash.

Jury selection started Monday in the trial of Virgil Brewer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed person with a homemade beanbag round out of his shotgun. Brewer, who was with the Barber County Sheriff's Office at the time of the incident, is facing a charge of reckless involuntary manslaughter. This is for his fatal encounter with Steven Myers on Oct. 6, 2017, in Sun City, a rural area about 300 miles from Kansas City, Kansas.

A civil lawsuit filed by Myers’ family against Brewer and Lonnie Small, the then Barber County Sheriff, was settled in 2020 after county officials agreed to pay $3.5 million.

ABC News reported that Brewer’s criminal trial is likely to focus on whether his lack of understanding and training with the less-lethal munitions resulted in a crime. He has been on unpaid leave since his 2018 arrest and was released pending trial. Defense attorney David Harger did not reply to messages asking for comment on the case.

Furthermore, KTVH reported that on the evening of Oct. 6, 2017, Brewer was carrying his weapon. He, along with the sheriff and a sheriff’s deputy, responded to a report about a man carrying a rifle on a street after an argument at a local bar. Then, about five minutes before the deadly shooting, Small said, “A little luck and he’ll just pass out and die,” a statement that was caught on the sheriff’s body camera as they scoured for Myers.

They later located him hiding in a shed. According to the probable cause affidavit, Brewer and the deputy subsequently told the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that they could see Myers was not armed when they encountered him outside the shed.

Body camera footage examined by investigators reveals Brewer repeatedly told Myers to get on the ground before shooting him outside the shed. Deputy Mark Suchy, on the other hand, gave conflicting orders to put his hands up. Seconds later, Brewer fired at Myers with one round.

In a report, U.S.News wrote that Brewer told the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in an interview that he worried for his life and those of his deputies when Myers resumed walking toward them. He added that he did not anticipate the beanbag round to pierce through Myers’ chest.

In an affidavit in support of the criminal charge against the undersheriff, Bureau Agent Brian Carroll stated that the deputy’s body camera video revealed Myers was not making any aggressive move at the time Brewer shot him. Carroll said Myers was never informed he was under arrest. She also said Myers was not warned that his refusal to comply with orders would result in the use of impending force.

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