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Woman disputes account of sister's shooting by St. Louis police

Woman disputes account of sister's shooting by St. Louis police


ST. LOUIS • The sister of a 38-year-old woman shot by St. Louis police officers responding to a report Friday night of an intruder at a Chippewa Street home is disputing the law enforcement account of the incident.

Becky Morgan, of Cedar Hill, on Sunday accused police of firing 16 bullets into the back of her sister, Jennifer Morgan-Tyra.

Morgan said the wounds paralyzed Morgan-Tyra, the wife of a lieutenant with the St. Louis city sheriff’s office. The couple had plans to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary later Friday night.

Morgan-Tyra is being treated at St. Louis University Hospital.

Officials announced on Sunday that prosecutors filed warrants charging Morgan-Tyra with second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action.

According to the St. Louis police account, officers observed a “screaming” male fleeing the residence when they responded to a disturbance call in the 4200 block of Chippewa about 7 p.m. Friday.

Inside the home, officers encountered a “female armed with a weapon,” the report says.

Police said the woman refused an order to drop the firearm and “began to raise the weapon toward the officers. Fearing for his safety, one of the officers fired his department-issued firearm at the suspect, striking her in the chest.”

A police source, who spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said one of the officers fired seven times.

The source said the woman’s weapon was a 9mm Glock that had live rounds in it, and that police later found indications the gun had misfired at least once. The source said the woman was told multiple times to drop her gun, by both police and by others in the house.

Morgan said her sister summoned police after encountering an intruder in the residence, which is occupied by a disabled brother. Morgan claims the gun was not loaded.

She identified the man seen fleeing the home as her brother’s roommate.

Morgan-Tyra and other family members assist in caring for the brother on a rotating basis, Morgan said.

The injured woman has a room in the residence, which was owned by her late mother, but does not reside there.

Morgan-Tyra, according to her sister, was holding an intruder at bay with a 9-millimeter handgun when the police entered the home.

Morgan said she has been told her sister responded to the demand that she drop the weapon by pointing the barrel toward the floor.

Morgan accused police of firing the shots as Morgan-Tyra turned away.

The police source disputed the account that there was an intruder involved in the incident at any time. The source said it wasn’t an “intruder situation,” but rather that there was another woman in the house who was known to the disabled brother and to others who lived there.

Morgan-Tyra, the daughter of a former Manchester police officer, is an accountant.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. The police Force Investigation Unit is examining the circumstances.

Christine Byers of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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Steve Giegerich is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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