Reeds Spring Intruder’s Death Deemed Self-Defense justified by prosecutors

REED SPRINGS, Mo. – Prosecutors have ruled a November shooting death in Reed Springs as justified, following an investigation by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occurred when Stone County deputies accused Michael A. Ruhde, 33, of violently invading a man’s residence around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 4 in the rural area of Keystone and Old Wilderness. The homeowner opened fire, killing the alleged intruder.

According to prosecutor Dan Patterson, the shooter, who remained unnamed in the report, acted in self-defense after giving Ruhde multiple warnings. Ruhde, who was reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine, arrived at the man’s residence and exhibited erratic and violent behavior, scaring the home’s family.

The shooter’s wife was on the line with 911 dispatchers during the incident, the report said. Patterson stated, “It is clear from the evidence that (the homeowner) reasonably believed force was necessary to protect himself and his family against death, serious physical injury, and commission of the forcible felonies of assault and/or burglary.”

Ruhde’s wife, Nathalie Lazart, had told the News-Leader before the investigation had concluded that her husband was suffering from depression and anxiety and may have been seeking help before the deadly encounter. “He wouldn’t just walk into someone’s home,” said Lazart, who had three children with Ruhde.

The Greene County Prosecutor’s Office has made the determination that the shooter acted in self-defense when confronting Michael A. Ruhde, who was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine during the deadly incident. Ruhde’s wife believes her husband may have been seeking help before the encounter and disputes the allegations against him.