LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — Investigators found no weapon inside a vehicle driven by a Missouri woman who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy over the weekend, authorities said Tuesday.
Hannah Fizer, 25, died Saturday night after being shot by a Pettis County deputy following a traffic stop.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the shooting, initially said Fizer was shot after she said she had a gun and threatened to shoot the deputy.
Investigators who searched her car did not find a weapon, patrol spokesman Bill Lowe said Tuesday. He said no new information was available to explain why the situation escalated into a shooting. No one else was injured during the confrontation.
Fizer was stopped after she ran a red light as she drove to work Saturday night, the patrol said. She kept going even as the deputy tried to stop her, but she eventually pulled over.
Fizer’s family and friends expressed doubt that she had a gun. Her father, John Fizer, said Monday that his daughter never carried a gun and she was not likely to become belligerent with law enforcement officers.
No body camera or dashcam video of the encounter exists. Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told TV station KOMU that the department’s deputies stopped wearing cameras about three years ago because of technical difficulties and a lack of funding.
Lowe said the Fizer investigation is a priority for the patrol but that it could be up to a month before all reports are complete and information is compiled to send to the district attorney, who will determine if anyone will be charged.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, which is routine in officer-involved shootings. He has worked for Pettis County since 2007 and had no previous complaints against him, Bond said.
The shooting comes amid increased scrutiny of officer-involved killings since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd was a black man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving. Both Fizer and the deputy who shot her were white.