Friends, acquaintances and concerned citizens gathered outside of the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office in downtown Sedalia Tuesday evening to protest the death of a Sedalia woman who was shot and killed by a deputy Saturday evening.
According to her obituary, Fizer was born in Sedalia and graduated from Marshall High School in 2014 where she was an active FFA member. She worked at various convenience stores in Sedalia and enjoyed walking, car rides, Chinese food, her family, tattoos, shoes, swimming and hanging out with friends.
“She was 140 pounds,” said attendee Tracie Karigan who knew Fizer. “She wasn’t doing anything, she was going to work. Why’d they have to end her life? They don’t have that right, they’re not God.”
Karigan said she talked to Fizer all the time when she would go into Fizer’s workplace at the Tiger Eagle Stop. Karigan’s daughter also works at the stop and was friends with Fizer. Karigan was frustrated with the picture that is being painted of Fizer after the incident.
“She’s not here to stand up for herself so they shouldn't even be painting this picture of her that they’re trying to do,” Karigan said. “It’s just wrong. Everybody in Sedalia that knows, that knew who Hannah was as a person. That’s why everyone is out here so angry and hurt and crying because this is wrong.
“She never had a mean streak to her,” she added. “I mean you could probably throw a pack of gum at her as a customer and she would take it and say, ‘OK thank you.’”
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a sheriff’s office deputy conducted a traffic stop around 10 p.m. Saturday near West Broadway Boulevard and Winchester Drive in Sedalia for a vehicle that was speeding and ran a traffic light at Broadway and Thompson boulevards. Fizer eventually pulled off the road near LeMaire’s Cajun Catfish and Seafood House, 3500 W. Broadway Blvd.
MSHP has said Fizer allegedly claimed to have a gun and threatened to shoot the deputy during the traffic stop. Attendees agreed it was out of character for Fizer. Michael Fuson, a regular at Fizer’s work, said “It doesn't sound like her at all.”
Fizer’s coworkers and friends agreed.
“She was a beautiful person,” said Fizer’s coworker and friend Alex Bohannon. “She would be the one who just whenever you were around her you couldn’t help but smile because she was just so funny…She was fun, she was funny, she was just full of just love. She wasn’t a hateful person. She was a good soul.”
Fizer’s manager, Melissa Rath, said Fizer was “great.”
“Everything that they’re saying that she supposedly did is way out of character,” Rath said. “We’ve had several customers come in the last several days. They even said, ‘That doesn’t make sense to me, that doesn't sound like her. Every time we’ve come in here she’s been respectful and really nice.’”
Rath asked people on Facebook to stop making hurtful comments and assumptions about the incident.
“I want people to know that all this stuff they’re saying on Facebook, it’s ugly,” Rath said. “They need to remember that some of these people that are on here saying all these things have children themselves. Would they like for this to happen to their kids? Some of the things that are on there are just sickening and awful. Stop making up things, stop making up rumors about like her being high and on drugs.”
Another of Fizer’s co-workers and friends, Roni Edde, said she saw Fizer less than two hours before Fizer was shot.
“She told me she just got back from swimming and was going home to get ready for work…She was perfectly fine,” Edde said.
Rath said she would like to see the deputy charged for the shooting. Edde said she just wants to “know the truth.”
Other participants also said they wanted justice.
“You don’t have to know someone when something like this happens,” said attendee Travis Dillon. “All of us have to be her voice now and get justice. Find out why that officer shot her and killed her when there could have been other things he could have done to prevent that. I hope and pray that whoever officer it was does not walk away from doing this.”
A change attendees want to see is officers being required to have body and vehicle cameras, as the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office does not have cameras. Karigan said she knows all officers aren’t bad but “right now I don’t feel what is good coming out of it.”
“It’s not fair that the people that we’re supposed to trust the most, is the one that took one of the most precious lives,” she said. “It’s not fair. Then you still tell us, ‘Have faith in the law, believe in the law, stand up for your enforcement.’ Why, whenever they take away everything we’re supposed to believe in? How can we even do that?”
Other protests are planned for later in the week.