COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Prosecutors in court documents filed Tuesday said a Columbia police officer acted recklessly when she hit and killed a 4-year-old girl with her cruiser.
Court documents that became available on Tuesday morning revealed new details in the death of Gabriella Curry. Columbia Police Department officer Andria Heese was charged Monday with first-degree manslaughter in the girl's death.
The complaint against Heese says she ran the girl over "after entering an area typically used by pedestrians at a speed and coming from an angle which prevented her from avoiding" Curry.
Witnesses said they saw three children playing on the sidewalk near Battle High School on Jan. 4, according to the probable cause statement. Witnesses then saw Curry on the sidewalk and a police officer car pull up on the sidewalk. They then saw the officer's vehicle run over Curry on the driver's side, court documents said.
Another witness said they also saw Heese drive up on the sidewalk. They honked their horn to try to get Heese's attention, court documents said.
Reverend James Gray was named in the court documents. A witness came to him with what she saw but was hesitant to call police. He then went to CPD and had her talk to officers over the phone.
"How do we start bring closure to something like that is getting the people to come forward to say what they saw," Gray told ABC17 News.
Heese was trying to park on the sidewalk at Battle High School so she could watch students load onto school buses. After the incident, Heese began performing CPR on Curry until more officers arrived, court documents said.
Curry's parents, who were both bus drivers for Student Transportation of America, were at the scene at the time of the incident. STA said it is within its policy to have employees bring their small children with them to work, court documents said.
"How do we move forward from this day?" Gray said. "We have to talk about forgiveness."
Per department protocol, Heese was put on administrative leave.
The investigation into the crash was handed to Camden County prosecutors, according to the state patrol.
The special prosecutor Heather miller couldn't give many details about why she considers Heese's actions "reckless," but provided the legal definition.
Involuntary manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum of 10 years. Heese could receive probation if found guilty of the crime.
A judge ordered an arrest warrant for Heese with a bond set at $5,000.
As of about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Heese had not been booked in the Boone County Jail.