DEA agents deemed justified in deadly Springfield shooting

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Federal agents have been found justified in fatally shooting a man during a Springfield drug investigation.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson announced this week that Drug Enforcement agents John Stuart and Anthony Gasperoni would not face charges for the Nov. 2 death of Caleb Slay, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

The shooting happened after a U-Haul driver who was suspected in a drug exchange came to a stop in front of the home in which Slay lived, according to Patterson's report.

Slay then got out of a car that was parked in front of the home and refused to get back inside. That worried Stuart, who believed at the time that Slay and another person in the car were there to do a drug deal, the report said.

Craig Lowther, a lawyer hired by Caleb Slay's mother, said previously that Slay merely stumbled into the investigation.

While Slay was being arrested, a struggle ensued and Stuart was knocked to the ground, the report said. Gasperoni said he opened fire when Slay broke free from Stuart and reached his hand to his hip.

Stuart recovered a loaded handgun from Slay's waistband. 

Lowther, the family's attorney, said Slay carried a gun because he once worked as a bouncer at a Springfield nightclub. But he said Slay never displayed it.