LADUE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- The Ladue officer facing assault charges after she shot a woman in the parking lot of Ladue Crossing Shopping Center resigned from the force Friday.
"It is with a heavy heart that I hereby officially resign my employment as a police officer for the City of Ladue," said Crews in the resignation letter.
She served the police department for 13 years.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell announced the charges against Julia Crews Wednesday afternoon.
"The facts of this case are very clear," Bell said. "The investigation has given us the answers that we need to determine that charges should be brought against Officer Julia Crews."
The announcement came a week after the shooting that happened following a shoplifting incident at a Schnucks last Tuesday.
Police said they had received a call from the Ladue Schnucks about two shoplifters inside the store. Officer Crews, who has 13 years experience, tried to arrest one of the suspects, later identified as 33-year-old Ashley Hall, but she resisted and a struggle began. That's when the gun was fired, police said.
Crews's attorney, Travis Noble, told News 4 the officer meant to reach for her taser, not her gun.
“She’s devastated. you try to talk to her and she literally breaks down into tears. Noble said. "You have an officer who may draw her weapon a thousand times in training and then once pulling the taser and then all of a sudden they are in the heat of the moment. Muscle memory kicks in and they pull the firearm instead of the taser.”
The shooting is among at least 13 since 2001 in which officers said they muddled their guns and stun guns, University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist David Klinger said. He noted that police officers typically train by drawing their gun, not their stun gun, and that becomes habit.
"Occasionally, what will happen is when police officers move to draw the Taser, which has the same basic feel as a service pistol, they draw the wrong weapon," Klinger said. "It's that simple."
But Hall's mother views what happened to her daughter as unnecessary suffering.
"The punishment is too great for the crime, it's too excessive," Karen Carter said. Carter is Hall's mother. "I would rather see my daughter go to court and let the judge be the judge and the officers be the officers."
Carter says she forgives officer Crews and realizes it was a mistake.
“I’m gonna pray for her and pray my daughter at the same time," said Carter.
According to police, Hall, who is a mother of five, was pushing a grocery cart with stolen items with another woman and they were accompanied by man. Schnucks employees stopped the women at the door. Hall's companion reportedly left the cart, ran out of the store and into the parking lot.
Hall remained inside the store, holding some balloons she paid for. She tried to grab some items in the cart but was stopped by an employee and another employee called the Ladue Police Department, authorities said. She was able to grab a few items and then she ran outside of the store.
While running away, she fell in the parking lot and dropped some of the items she was carrying.
Carter said the balloons her daughter bought were of the numbers five and two for Carter's 52nd birthday, which was on that same day.
An employee outside approached Hall and offered to help her up, but she hit him, a spokesperson for Schnucks said.
She got up and ran out of the employee's sight but was eventually stopped by Crews. Hall said she was injured during an altercation at Schnucks, so an ambulance was called. Shortly after, Crews tried to arrest her but police said she resisted and began running.
Investigators said Crews announced she was going to use her taser, and Hall did not stop. Crews then pulled her gun and shot Hall as she ran away.
She was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
“I feel like a lot of times when the victim is black they don’t get looked at as human. The lesson should be that no matter what color we are we are all human. There is only one race and that’s the human race," said Aigner Hall, Hall's sister.
The family says they want more police training.
“A person commits the offense of assault in the second degree if he or she recklessly causes physical injury to another person by means of discharging a firearm,” Bell said. “It’s our position that the officer’s actions were reckless.”
The officer-involved shooting is believed to be the first ever in the City of Ladue.
The City of Ladue released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken over the course of events in the last week,” said City of Ladue Mayor Nancy Spewak. “We take great pride in our community policing efforts, and we strive to treat every member of the public with respect and integrity, despite the natural conflicts that occur when police are called to aid a potential criminal situation. We are committed to doing everything in our power to learn from this and to minimize the potential of incidents like this in the future. We are grateful the person involved in this matter is on her way to recovery. I want to offer my continued support to her family and to all of the men and women of the Ladue Police Department. This has been a difficult time for all of us.”