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Special prosecutor: Columbia Police officers involved in deadly officer-involved shooting made multiple efforts to de-escalate

Columbia police chief Jill Schlude began as chief on December 4, 2023 (2023 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia)

Charges will not be filed by a special prosecutor investigating August’s deadly Columbia police officer involved shooting at the Landing apartment complex.

22-year-old Marquis Rivera was shot and killed by Columbia Police on August 4. Callaway County prosecutor Benjamin Miller, the special prosecutor, has written a two-page letter outlining his decision, describing Rivera as an imminent threat to public safety that day.

Columbia assistant chief Lance Bolinger told reporters that day on-scene that CPD responded to a suicidal subject call at about 3:05 that afternoon. He said that officers made contact with the subject Rivera, who said he was not suicidal. Mr. Bolinger says the subject called back at about 3:57 that afternoon, requesting CPD officer contact.

Prosecutor Miller’s letter says that when Rivera called police the second time that day asking them to return, he shot eight to ten times in the air and in the direction of Columbia Police officers, striking their patrol vehicles. Miller’s letter says Rivera also made threats to shoot the officers if they did not shoot him. Miller says the CPD officers made multiple attempts to de-escalate the situation and that, despite that, Rivera ultimately pointed his gun directly at CPD officers while telling them it was loaded. Miller says officers immediately tried to provide life-saving measures to Rivera, but he died at the scene.

Columbia Police chief Jill Schlude has issued a statement, which reads, “A loss of life is tragic to so many people, especially family and friends. Our department would like to extend its condolences to everyone affected, and I urge our community to come together and support each other during this difficult time.”