ST. LOUIS — A 54-year-old woman who police say fired a shot at officers in downtown St. Louis Friday was charged with two felonies three days after she walked out of jail without any charges. She was taken into custody again Tuesday night.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s Office filed two felonies against Jada Davis, unlawful use of a firearm and armed criminal action.
In an interview Tuesday before she was charged, Davis told 5 On Your Side she didn’t threaten to shoot anyone and she fired one shot as a warning after police broke the window to the van in which she lives.
“It’s written clearly on my van, if you break a window I will put a cap in your (expletive),” Davis-Bey said. "They ignored all those warnings."
She said she doesn't believe she did anything wrong, and considers her van her home.
"I did not shoot at the police, I shot out of my vehicle, which is what I promise to do," she said. "If anyone busts a window on my mobile home, I got a right to defend myself."
Part of the encounter was captured on a bystander's cellphone. A single shot can be heard followed by multiple shots from several police officers. Davis said she counted 14 bullet holes in her van.
Police said Davis threatened to shoot a Federal Protective Services officer at about 9:45 a.m. Friday after she was asked to move her van. Responding St. Louis officers then asked her to move her van, and she then threatened to shoot a St. Louis police officer if he tapped on her window, according to court documents.
A short while later, a St. Louis police sergeant told Davis she needed to get out of her car, and police say Davis refused and threatened to shoot the sergeant. The sergeant then broke Davis’ window to remove her from the vehicle, and Davis fired at least one shot from inside the fan through the same side window using a .38 caliber revolver, according to the documents.
Davis was released from the City Justice Center at 2:38 p.m. Saturday without being charged.
Gardner’s spokeswoman responded only that the case is “under investigation,” when asked why charges weren’t issued initially.
Police have 24 hours to apply for charges against someone after an arrest. If charges aren’t issued, they can be released.
The St. Louis Police Department confirmed Tuesday that officers applied for warrants against Davis before that 24-hour hold expired, but Gardner’s office refused to issue charges saying more police follow-up was needed.
Gardner's office then released a statement about the decision to charge Davis and the delay.
It read, in part, "In this case, additional evidence was required from the police and various sources."
5 On Your Side was there when Davis paid $125 to get her gold van out of the city’s tow lot just as charges were being filed against her at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.
“Why couldn’t they just give me a ticket and move on?” she asked.
Davis said she does not have a “contract” with the government of the United States, and therefore does not have to follow its laws. She said she does not identify as a sovereign citizen, but as a member of the Moorish Temple.
She said she was planning to go back to downtown St. Louis to find a new place to park her van and sleep for the night.
"If I aim a gun at the police, I expect to be charged," she said. "I did not aim a gun at the police, or you, or him or anyone else."
Police arrested Davis again Tuesday at 9:56 p.m. near Kiener Plaza.
Here's Gardner's full statement:
We care deeply about the lives and well-being of the officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and members of our community. At the same time, we have a duty to thoroughly investigate each and every incident. Despite the gunfire exchanged, fortunately no one was hurt.
In this case, additional evidence was required from the police and various sources. Today the Circuit Attorney's Office issued charges of Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle and Armed Criminal Action.
Investigations take time, and in all cases we must wait until the facts are submitted and reviewed. In this case, the Circuit Attorney's Office is dedicated to ensuring that the office carries out its duty to prosecute criminal cases in a manner that seeks justice rather than just convictions on behalf of the residents of the City of St. Louis.