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Felon who claims self defense after killing man indicted for illegal possession of gun

Thomas Larson, acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced on Wednesday that Rick Gurley was indicted by a federal grand jury for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A search warrant written by Columbia Police Department detectives claims 28-year-old Cameron Caruthers was killed during a disturbance at a home in the 1300 block of Dawn Ridge Road. Attorney Stephen Wyse would later confirm that the shooter was Rick Gurley, who claims he shot in self-defense.

Gurley remains in federal custody pending his formal arraignment and detention hearing set for Tuesday afternoon.

The indictment alleges that Gurley knowingly possessed a shotgun and ammunition in Boone County. Gurley has a prior felony conviction from North Carolina for felonious restraint in 1997, making it illegal for him to have a gun.

For more on the shooting, click here.

Mike Francis, a friend of Caruthers’s from the U.S. Army, said he was pleased law enforcement arrested Gurley for the incident, but believed a murder charge should follow.

“We’re excited that the man is arrested, but now it’s time to answer some questions,” Francis said on Friday afternoon.

Gurley lived in the home on Dawn Ridge Road with Caruthers and Caruthers’s girlfriend. The two broke up in late May, and Caruthers arrived at the home on May 22 to retrieve some of his belongings.

Both Caruthers’s friends and Gurley have debated what happened next. Wyse told ABC 17 News in May that Caruthers came into the house, attacked his ex-girlfriend and turned his attention to Gurley. That’s when Gurley fired a shotgun, killing Caruthers.

Francis said he does not believe Gurley shot in self-defense. Caruthers had spoken to him several times before the shooting, concerned about Gurley. Francis said he hoped to learn more about what was in the house at the time, and what some electronic devices in and around the home might reveal.

“That guy had computers and cameras and microphones all over his house,” Francis said. “The police pulled tons of equipment out of his house. What was on that stuff?”

The federal public defender’s office will represent Gurley in the criminal case. The office declined to comment on Friday afternoon.

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