The Hannibal Police Department is standing behind its officer who shot a Hannibal man last month.
Chief Lyndell Davis says the officer used reasonable force when he shot through the driver's side window of a passing car Jan. 24, injuring the passenger.
"DaMark Rudd, 24, of Hannibal, operated a motor vehicle during the incident with total disregard for the safety of the officers, motorists and pedestrians in the area," Davis wrote in a news release.
Davis says another officer walking toward the area saw Rudd place those in the area in "grave danger." Davis says the officer shot into the window as the car passed by to protect people in the area and around the nearby movie theater.
But the fact that the officer had to fire his gun in the first place concerns downtown resident Dena Ellis.
"It seems bad that you would shoot downtown," Ellis said. "There's a theater there. There could have been coming and going. But on the other hand, I wasn't there. I didn't see."
Davis says the officer followed department policy given the circumstances. Movie-goers like Jamie Boyd agree.
"I think if he took every precaution necessary for the safety of the crowd that was involved and he did what he thought was necessary, then I didn't see a problem with it," Boyd said.
Whether residents agree or disagree that the Hannibal officer was justified in firing his gun, they say after seeing situations like this on the news recently, a situation like this doesn't surprise them.
"In this day and age it doesn't," Boyd said. "It just makes it a little bit closer to reality for us here."
This case is not over. The Missouri State Highway Patrol criminal investigation into the case continues.