Springfield Police at the scene of an incident. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson ruled earlier this month that the use of deadly force by four Springfield Police officers against 33-year-old Justin Barker on Feb. 1, 2023 was justified.

The four involved officers are no longer on administrative leave and have been released to active duty, a news release said.

About the shooting

According to the release, Springfield Police officers were sent to Tom Watkins Park at 2100 W. High St. at 1:46 p.m. Feb. 1 to check the well-being of a man who was making suicidal statements.

When the officers arrived, they contacted Barker in the middle of the park. While officers were talking with him, he said he had a gun and proceeded to draw a handgun from his waistband, the release said.

“The officers immediately ordered him to drop the gun, but he failed to comply and instead pointed the handgun toward them. The officers fired their handguns at the man, striking him several times,” the release said. “The officers immediately took him into custody and performed life-saving measures while awaiting the arrival of paramedics. However, he did not survive.”

Barker was from Springfield. His family was notified.

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She covers housing, homelessness, domestic violence and early childhood, among other public affairs issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald