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Motorist fatally shoots passenger who stabbed him

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UPDATED at 9:30 a.m. Friday with name and photo of man shot to death, additional details.

LINCOLN COUNTY — A motorist on Tuesday night fatally shot a passenger in his car after the passenger stabbed him in the neck when the driver pulled over to the side of a rural highway, authorities said. 

The stabbing and subsequent shooting happened just before 9 p.m. along Highway W, just west of Elsberry, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. 

Authorities on Friday identified the dead man as 54-year-old Stephen Troy Johnson. 

Stephen Troy Johnson

Stephen Troy Johnson, in a photo provided by Lincoln County sheriff’s office

Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Binder said Johnson was riding in a car with a male driver and a female passenger. They all knew each other and had been out drinking, Binder said. Johnson asked the driver to stop the car so he could urinate along the highway.

The driver obliged and Johnson and the woman got out of the car. When the driver began to get out of the car, too, Johnson stabbed him in the back of the neck “without provocation,” police said. 

The driver had a handgun and shot Johnson, Binder said. Johnson died at the scene.

Investigators don’t know why Johnson stabbed the driver. Binder said the woman corroborated the driver’s account.

The driver was taken to a hospital where he received stitches for the stab wound and was released. He talked with investigators that night.

Binder said Friday that the case was still being investigated. Results of the police investigation will be forwarded to the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.

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