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Special prosecutor says Fulton officer justified in fatal shooting

Fulton fatal shooting still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton fatal shooting still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance image
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance video
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance stills
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance photo
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.
Fulton shooting surveillance still
Courtesy special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff
An image from a surveillance camera outside McIntire Elementary shows the fatal shooting of Cody McCaulou on Dec. 30, 2019, and the moments leading up to it.

FULTON, Mo. (KMIZ)

The father of an officer-involved shooting is disputing the special prosecutor that ruled a man's fatal shooting by Fulton police in December was justified.

Special prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff submitted a report based on his review of the case to Callway County Judge Carol England on Friday. Sokoloff released the report publicly Monday.

A Fulton Police Department officer fatally shot Cody McCaulou, 25, on Dec. 30 outside McIntire Elementary School. In his report, Sokoloff said evidence shows McCaulou accelerated toward the officer, who was walking toward the vehicle.

Cody McCaulou
Photo of Cody McCaulou and two of his children held in the hand of his relative, Michael Netherton Jr. Jan. 2, 2020

The shooting happened after an officer tried to pull McCaulou over on Hickman Avenue, which runs in front of the school.

"At the time the officer fired his weapon ... the vehicle was no more than 6 feet from him and accelerating rapidly toward him," Sokoloff wrote in the report. The officer only fired after determining he could not make it to the safety of his cruiser before the car hit him.

The "officer had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of serious physical injury or death from the actions of the deceased at the time he fired," Sokoloff wrote.

The officer fired while the car was accelerating and the vehicle continued into the building after McCaulou was hit, Sokoloff said.

Sokoloff based his report on evidence including statements from other officers, lab reports, dashcam footage and surveillance video.

The car was in a stopped position before it began moving towards the officer. The security camera shows the car was within six feet of the officer, and within two feet of the police vehicle when the officer fired, according to Sokoloff.

"It’s hard to get a good assessment of the speed," Sokoloff told ABC 17 News after the report was released. "I would say he accelerated pretty quickly."

Timestamps on images pulled from the security footage show the exchange lasted roughly four seconds.

McCaulou's family has disputed the official account of the shooting, saying the officer could have avoided deadly force.

"(The officer) had different options. He really did," said Michael Netherton Sr., McCaulou's father.

"The car wasn’t speeding or nothing. He had a lot of different options." Netherton also said he and his attorney are reviewing the report.

McCaulou was in his car with his girlfriend and mother. The police incident report revealed that all three were seeking to buy drugs before being confronted by the officer.

Sokoloff said the girlfriend and mother later told investigators they were looking to buy drugs.

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Matthew Sanders

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

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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.

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