Officer Who Mistook Gun For Taser And Shot Beggar Charged

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A police officer who shot a beggar with his gun, instead of his Taser, has been charged with a misdemeanor offense.

Jason L. Shuck, 36, of the Springfield police department, claims he meant to use his Taser against Eric David Butts, 27, when he confronted him outside of a Walmart and Butts ran from him.

Shuck instead fired his gun at Butts and hit him in the lower back, reports News-Leader.

"The best explanation that I have is that my ... brain was saying Taser and ... but my body moved faster than my brain," Shuck said to detectives.

In a statement to detectives after the shooting, Butts said that Shuck apologized to him, saying he reached for his Taser but grabbed his gun by mistake.

Butts was hospitalized with a non-life threatening injury. He was arrested by police following his hospitalization for outstanding warrants including a probation violation, and an unpaid parking ticket, reports KSPR.

Shuck has been charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault and could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

At this time, Shuck remains an employee of the Springfield police department on paid administrative leave. 

Police Chief Paul Williams said Shuck may remain on the force even if he is convicted of the misdemeanor.

Photo Credit: Springfield Police Department