LAKE SAINT LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The St. Charles County Prosecutor's office has decided not to file charges against the man who shot another man several times during a suspected road rage incident in Lake St. Louis.
The shooting happened on March 20 just before 7 p.m. outside a popular shopping plaza at the intersection of Hawk Ridge Trail and Ronald Reagan Drive. St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said it was clear both drivers were involved in road rage.
A person was rushed to the hospital Saturday evening after a shooting at a Lake Saint Louis shopping center.
“At one point, the driver in front stops his car, he exits his vehicle, he has a weapon. The driver in the second car sees the weapon and he notifies the first driver that he has a weapon too and the first driver made a sort of an assertive action toward the car that was occupied by the second driver and his family and as a result, he discharged his weapon in an effort to protect himself," said St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar.
Lake St. Louis Police shared cellphone video a witness recorded that caught part of the shooting. Lohmar said there were also several witnesses who shared consistent stories about what happened.
“Based on all the evidence, we believe the shooter was justified in firing his weapon and as a result, we’ve chosen not to file charges," said Lohmar.
News 4 wanted to know when it is considered self defense. We took our question to Paul Bastean, who has trained Lake St. Louis Police in use of force for 20 years and owns Ultimate Defense Firing Range in St. Peters, where he trains people when deadly force can be used.
“The formula we use is this acronym and the acronym is AIM," said Bastean.
The acronym AIM stands for:
“If somebody has access to you and the ability to get to where you are, if they have intent do harm and the means to do harm," said Bastean.
Just being scared for your life is not always enough, he said. There are only five conditions, Bastean explained, where you can use deadly force in Missouri.
“State statute says a reasonable belief exists that the use of force is necessary to protect yourself or someone else from death, serious injury, rape, sodomy, or kidnapping," said Bastean.
Lohmar said what is concerning is how often these incidents are escalating to violence.
“We’re seeing, and not just road rage cases, we’re seeing situations that historically would have just been a fist fight now turn into gun battles," he explained.
He warns you should assume everyone has a gun the next time you get upset behind the wheel.
“I think we’re going to have more lost lives before people really recognize the severity of it now," he said.
Lohmar said the man who was shot made a full recovery.