Missouri

He was a wanted man. Cops shot woman who reported him — now he's charged with murder

Mason Farris, 19, of Aurora, Missouri
Mason Farris, 19, of Aurora, Missouri Missouri Department of Corrections

A 19-year-old man Missouri police officers were trying to arrest last weekend in a traffic stop has been charged with murder days after police shot and killed the driver who was with him in the car.

Online court records show Mason L. Farris, of Aurora, Missouri, was charged with second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, armed criminal action and resisting arrest.

The Springfield News-Leader first reported that Aurora-Marionville police officers had spotted Farris in a Kia hatchback on May 5, and were going to arrest him for an alleged parole violation.

Police stopped the vehicle after it was seen leaving an Aurora gas station.

Farris was reportedly sitting in the back passenger seat.

Two officers had approached the vehicle, but it went into reverse and struck an officer, knocking him to the ground, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

The other officer — fearing for their lives — fired shots, hitting the driver — 21-year-old Savannah Hill.

The officer who shot Hill won't be charged, the county prosecutor told the News-Leader Friday, though Sgt. Jason Pace, a spokesman with the highway patrol, said the investigation into the fatal police shooting is "not totally concluded."

savannah hill
Savannah Hill, 21, of Aurora, Mo. Courtesy of the family

It had been Hill who called police on the afternoon of May 5 to report Farris's whereabouts and suggested police pull her vehicle over so they could take the man into custody, according to court records obtained by The Kansas City Star.

But what started as a tip to police ended in Hill being shot and killed.

A witness, who had been sitting in the front passenger seat of the car, told authorities that Farris ordered Hill not to stop the vehicle, court records said.

Farris tried to get out of Hill's vehicle, but after discovering the doors to be locked, court records said he was trying to "push Hill's leg down, forcing it onto the accelerator and trying to get into the driver's seat."

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A witness said she tried to help Hill by trying to put the vehicle's gear shift into park.

Instead, the car went into reverse at "a high rate of speed," hitting the officer, court records said.

Farris was taken into custody after trying to flee.

He remained in police custody Friday, online court records indicated.

A court date has not yet been set.

Court records show Farris was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to drug possession and stealing charges in 2016.

Hill was taken by helicopter to a Springfield hospital, where she died Monday afternoon. According to an obituary, memorial services for Hill will be held Saturday.

An Aurora, Missouri, mother of two, Savannah Hill, was mortally wounded in a police shooting after authorities say she backed into a cop during a traffic stop on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

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