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Crime

Murder charge filed in Moberly shooting

Jerry Fitzwater
Moberly Police Department
Jerry Fitzwater

HUNTSVILLE, Mo. (KMIZ)

A Moberly man has been charged with murder in a deadly shooting last week on a residential street.

Randolph County prosecutor Stephanie Luntsford on Friday added a first-degree murder charge against Jerry L. Fitzwater in the July 8 shooting death of Mitchell Nickerson, 49. Fitzwater is also charged with armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

Moberly police said an autopsy on Nickerson was finished Wednesday and determined he died from a gunshot wound to the head. The death was classified as a homicide.

Fitzwater was first charged with first-degree assault after police found Nickerson wounded in the street July 8. Police found Fitzwater leaving his residence and saw .22-caliber shells falling from his pocket after the shooting, according to a probable cause statement.

According to the probable cause statement, Fitzwater told police that he did not know who he shot but said he suspected drug sales were happening at the address where the shooting victim was working on a truck outside.

Moberly Police Department Chief Troy Link told ABC 17 News that the department had spoken with Fitzwater about his concerns prior to the shooting and asked for some evidence of the claims.

The probable cause statement says Fitzwater missed the first shot from the porch, hitting the truck Nickerson had been working on at the time. Fitzwater then walked into the street and shot Nickerson in the head, according to the statement. He allegedly told police that if they had not arrived so quickly he would have shot everyone in the residence where Nickerson was working outside.

Fitzwater was jailed without bond. His attorney, John Rogers of Clayton, Missouri, was not immediately available for comment.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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