ST. LOUIS ( -- The man who was carjacked in Spanish Lake last year is speaking out about the deputy who he says saved his life.

A St. Louis County grand jury indicted Deputy James Buchanan, 53, for second-degree murder and armed criminal action. The charges come from a shooting that happened after a carjacking. 

Stephen Burgett said he was in a truck with his grandson at the McDonalds drive thru in the 11000 block of Bellefontaine Road. A stranger, William Burgess, tried to stab Burgett with a screw driver through the window in a carjacking attempt. 

"We're inside of that Dodge Ram truck and he's on top of me with that screw driver and he's trying to stab me in the chest and my face with that screw driver," said Burgett.

Deputy Buchanan - who was off-duty but in his full deputy uniform - chased after Burgess and shot him. Burgess later died from his injuries. 

"I wish it hadn't have happened, but it did. He died for his sins," said Burgett.

Burgett said he hasn't gotten to speak to Buchanan yet, but he's been in the courtroom for him. News 4 asked him what he will say if he does get a chance to speak to him.

"I'm sorry that this has happened to you. I thank you so much for saving my life and my grandson's life," Burgett said. "Without him, I don't think we would be here. I'm just very sad what has happened to him and I've been in the courtroom for him the whole time."

Sara Buck is Burgett's daughter and the mother of the 10-year-old boy who was in the truck when it all happened. She said Buchanan is not the murderer, saying, "the only one that was trying to murder someone is gone." 

"He put himself in a situation and that is his own fault," Buck said. "I feel sorry for the mom, I really do. But for her to say he should have waited for backup when her son's intent was to kill my family, I'm sorry that's ... that's ... I can't really get into it."

Buchanan has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 20 years.

The grand jury considered a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, but ultimately chose to indict on the murder charge, believing that Buchanan “knowingly or with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to William Burgess caused the death of the victim.”

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.