Another innocent Black man, Justin King, was killed in November by a neighbor who claimed self-defense. Others in the community are disputing the events that the shooter claims, stating the two knew each other and the perpetrator had a history of violence and threats.
Mr. King was just 28-years-old at the time of his murder at the hands of a neighbor in his Bourbon, Missouri, community, about an hour from St. Louis. He was dressed in pajamas and was shirtless while being shot by an acquaintance in the trailer park neighborhood.
The shooter, whose name has not been released, claims that Mr. King was breaking and entering and that he feared for his life. However, others who lived in the neighborhood dispute the claim, noting the two were friendly and referencing the shooter’s history of making threats of violence against others.
The King family is devastated by the allegations about their son, who had recently moved to Bourbon in order to be closer to his daughter. In an interview with NBC News, Mr. King’s father, John King, stated, “The only person that says it’s a home invasion is the guy that shot my son. And all the neighbors are saying, ‘No, you shot him in cold blood outside.'”
Mr. King’s neighbors agree. One neighbor, Trinna Wilson, stated, “He knew Justin. You would think that if your friend was coming into your house, you’d be like, ‘Hey, man, what are you doing?’ Why do you automatically resort to pulling out a gun and shooting him? How can this even possibly go down as self-defense?”
Others note that Mr. King was a kind and gentle neighbor, a friend to all who encountered him. Another neighbor, Katie Bosek, stated King was “a gentleman who helped everybody.” She also claimed that the shooter and King were friendly.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement is still investigating the incident, trying to obtain cameras and video that capture the late-night murder of yet another innocent Black man. The shooter has yet to be charged with any crime, despite having a history of criminal activity that should have prevented him from owning and operating a firearm.
Mr. King’s family wants answers. They are now looking to the Missouri FBI, who have taken over the case. “The family wants to make sure that whoever is responsible for the death of their son is held accountable,” said the attorney representing the King family. “But right now, we just settle for the disclosure of the truth.”