The family of 39 year-old Jennifer Morgan-Tyra is outraged after St. Louis police pumped their loved one full of bullet holes last Friday evening, after witnesses say she dropped her firearm and was starting to raise her hands at the scene of a domestic disturbance.
Shortly thereafter, police charged the woman with two felonies and wasted no time pushing what the family claims is a false narrative about how Morgan-Tyra “raised her gun towards officers.”
Morgan-Tyra’s brother, Mike Morgan, called her to his house last Friday to help remove an unwanted acquaintance who was wielding a screwdriver and refusing to leave the premises. After arriving to the house, Morgan-Tyra pulled a gun on the unidentified female in the kitchen, which led both woman to call the police for help.
Morgan-Tyra was on the phone with her husband, who ironically is a St. Louis Sherrif’s deputy, when two officers arrived on scene. According to her brother, she was holding her firearm in a downward position at her side with one hand, and a cell phone to her ear with the other. Both on-scene officers, along with her husband on the phone, demanded that Morgan-Tyra drop the gun, but she apparently froze up.
“She had the gun in a downward position. She’s hesitating,” Mike Morgan recalled.
Police opened fire a split second after Morgan-Tyra came to her senses and dropped the weapon, landing at least 7 shots, leaving her clinging to life.
“As she dropped the gun out of her hand they started shooting her… she went to turn … to step out of the way because I guess she’s thinking they could go in the room and get the intruder. They started shooting her,” said Morgan-Tyra’s sister, Rebecca Morgan.
Not knowing if their loved one will survive, the family had to deal with a police department that immediately started to push out a false narrative of the events, tipping the public support in their favor, a tactic that is becoming popular among departments dealing with use of force incidents. St. Louis police initially released a statement claiming that one officer had fired only one shot after Morgan-Tyra appears to “raise her gun towards officers.”
Police also claimed that Morgan-Tyra “attempted to fire a shot”, but her firearm misfired. However all statements were discounted by repeatedly stressing that all information was “preliminary” and placed an emphasis on the word “appears.” The number of shots fired was eventually corrected to “at least 7,” a number that the police could have confirmed immediately by simply counting the number of rounds left in their near empty magazines.
The family concedes that the situation was tense and confusing, but believe police were too quick to shoot. Rebecca Morgan said the initial police account only added to the family’s pain.
“It’s not right they’re making my sister out as some kind of crazy person trying to kill cops,” Rebecca Morgan said. “I want the truth. I can’t believe they shot my sister up with all those bullet holes. Now they’re going to try to sweep it under the carpet…my hearts broken. Police officers were my heroes, not anymore.”
If Morgan-Tyra were to miraculously survive, she would be processed for two felony charges that were filed against her, one count of second degree assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of armed criminal action.
The shooting is now under an initial investigation by the St. Louis Police Department and will be followed up by an investigation by the Circuit Attorney and the department’s new “Force Investigative Unit” to determine whether the shooting was justified. Both officers involved in the shooting are now on a paid vacation.