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Cole County Prosecutor: No charges filed for person who shot Michael Burns in January

Michael Burns, courtesy of Kaya Staten.
Kaya Staten/Courtesy
Michael Burns, courtesy of Kaya Staten.


Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson said in a Wednesday press release that no charges will be filed in the Jan. 14 shooting death of Michael Burns.

The email stated investigators with the Jefferson City Police Department learned that Burns initiated a fight with another individual in the 300 block of West Atchison Street.

The email states witnesses said Burns, 27, of Jefferson City, followed the other person to the area and parked his vehicle in the middle of the street, pulled out a gun and started a fight in the street. Burns allegedly pointed the gun at the other person when a third party observing the fight fired several shots at Burns, the release states.

The third party allegedly told investigators he believed Burns would have killed the other person had he not fired his weapon. The person who shot Burns has not been named. A press release in January said Burns was shot by a 38-year-old Jefferson City resident.

 “The Cole County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office carefully scrutinizes any loss of life in our community.” Thompson said in the release. “However, while this is an unfortunate and tragic incident, the person who fired his weapon was acting in lawful defense of another, and no charges will be brought forward as a result of this investigation.”

Neighbors told ABC 17 News in January that they wanted to know more about what led up to and caused the shooting. Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson told ABC 17 News the case was still under investigation.

Burns was a rapper and prominent TikTok user who went by the name Yung Hashtag, with more than 508,000 followers on the platform at the time of his death.

Burns is survived by his four brothers, three sisters, his mother and his 1-year-old son. His mother, Kaya Staten, said in January that their "lives will never be the same without him."

Staten said in a message on Wednesday that she wasn't surprised to hear there were no charges.

"As disappointed as I am, I am not surprised. I had already prepared for the worst. Sending that coward to jail won’t bring my son back," she said. "Despite evidence showing that this man had threatened my son very close to his death, I knew they wouldn’t charge him."

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Ryan Shiner


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