EDITOR'S NOTE: The first sentence of the story has been changed to say the incident was a reported home invasion. Police are still investigating the circumstances of the fatal shooting.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia teenager was killed by gunfire during what was reported as a home invasion Wednesday night.
The Columbia Police Department said in a news release Thursday that Joseph Valention Taylor, 17, was hit by gunfire and died after he and another person invaded a home in the 1400 block of Doris Drive at about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Medics pronounced Taylor dead at the scene, police said.
The person who lives in the home told police Taylor and an unidentified male entered the home, according to the release. The resident reportedly shot Taylor, police said.
Police searched for the second reported invader, described as a male with short hair wearing jeans, a white shirt and white shoes but he got away, police said.
The police department is continuing its investigation and police said no other details would be released.
Former Cole County prosecutor Bill Tackett said if someone reasonably believes using deadly force is required to protect themselves or others it’s justified under the law. The resident of the home reported to police that the incident was a home invasion but police are still investigating.
In Missouri, the Castle Doctrine allows a property owner to use deadly force to prevent an attack.
"If you enter my house or in Missouri my automobile, all the property I own or somewhere I’m entitled to be and I feel threatened or a third party is threatened or property is I could use deadly force," Tackett said.
If the incident is ruled a home invasion, the second person police are looking for could face a murder charge. Missouri law allows a suspect to be prosecuted for murder if someone dies while the suspect is committing a felony.
"If he or she is apprehended they’re looking at the felony murder," Tackett said. "It’s if you’re going to make the bad decision to commit a felony you’re going to pay the price for whatever happens."