Moberly man charged in officer-involved shooting in Shelby County pleads not guilty at arraignment

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Erik Prange | Photo courtesy of Audrain County Jail

SHELBYVILLE, Mo. — A Moberly man jailed after an officer-involved shooting in Shelby County in January was arraigned on Monday and pled not guilty.

Erik A. Prange, 51, of Moberly, appeared in Shelby County Circuit Court before Judge Mike Greenwell. He is being held without bond in the Audrain County Jail in Mexico. A bond appearance and attorney status hearing scheduled for Wednesday was continued because Prange was at a doctor’s appointment, according to court records. That hearing has been rescheduled for Feb. 14.

Prange has been charged with four counts of assault of a special victim in the first degree, a Class A felony, and four counts of armed criminal action. Charges were filed by Jordan Force, prosecuting attorney in Shelby County. 

If found guilty by a jury, Prange could receive a sentence of between 10 and 30 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on each of the charges of assault in the first degree. He could receive a sentence of between three and 10 years on each of the armed criminal action charges.

Deputies with the Adams County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the Quincy Police Department responded to a call on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the McDonald’s at 48th and Broadway regarding a report of a man trying to force a woman into his car. The driver fled and made it to I-172 South. Deputies pursued the vehicle until they reached the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge. 

Trooper Barbara Littrell with the Missouri State Highway Patrol filed a probable cause statement. She wrote that Troop B Communications was notified by Northeast Communications (NECOMM) of an armed and dangerous criminal suspect who fled from Illinois law enforcement officers in Quincy and was crossing the bridge into Missouri on I-72/U.S. 36. 

Prange was driving a white Dodge Ram pickup pulling a trailer and hauling a Jeep. Two MSHP troopers traveling in the same patrol vehicle located Prange’s vehicle traveling west on U.S. 36, just west of Hannibal. They attempted to initiate a traffic stop by activating emergency lights and a siren, but Prange failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued. 

Two other MSHP troopers, traveling in separate patrol vehicles, followed and joined in the pursuit. The Dodge Ram exited U.S. 36 at Missouri Highway 151 in Shelby County, then drove down an embankment and came to a stop. It appeared Prange partially exited the vehicle and fired one round, striking a trooper and a patrol vehicle through the driver’s side of the front windshield.

Prange then entered his vehicle, chambered a round and fired toward another patrol vehicle, striking it in the front windshield. One trooper sustained minor injuries due to being struck by bullet fragments. Troopers returned fire, and Prange was struck by gunfire, then taken into custody and provided medical attention.

Prange was found to have a Ruger American bolt action rifle, 6.5mm Creedmoor Caliber.

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