Woman Won’t Be Charged in Shooting Death of Missouri Firefighter, Prosecutors Say

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A Missouri woman who shot and killed an off-duty firefighter in Kansas City earlier this month will not be criminally charged because of the state’s self-defense and defense of others law, prosecutors announced.

In an Oct. 24 press release, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said they won’t pursue a second-degree murder charge against the woman, who has not been identified, because she acted in accordance with Missouri’s “stand your ground” law when she shot and killed 41-year-old Anthony “Tony” Santi.

Santi died on Oct. 6 outside a gas station in Independence, Missouri—a suburb of Kansas City. He was shot in the back by the unnamed woman following a verbal altercation that escalated into a brawl between the off-duty firefighter and the woman’s boyfriend, who has been identified as 23-year-old Ja’Von L. Taylor.

On the day of the incident, Santi overheard Taylor arguing with a female gas station employee because she didn’t have the cigar brand of his liking, according to court documents, The Kansas City Star reported.

Santi intervened when Taylor refused to leave the store upon the clerk’s request, also telling him that he shouldn’t be disrespectful and leave the store as requested by the employee.

The intervention allegedly led to Taylor starting to threaten Santi, records show, leading to a fight outside. A video of the incident recorded by a bystander and shared on social media shows Santi and Taylor in a brawl outside the gas station.

The video shows Taylor, who is black, being held in a headlock by Santi, who is white. In the 27-second clip, Taylor appears to give his firearm with an extended magazine to his girlfriend, who is screaming hysterically and desperately asking the off-duty firefighter to release her boyfriend from his grip.

Moments after she got her hands on the gun, the woman threatened to use the gun to shoot, which eventually she did, killing Santi. The actual shot itself is not shown in the video.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office said in a statement obtained by KCTV5 that Taylor was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting. A probable cause document stated Taylor is a convicted felon for first-degree robbery.

The Kansas City Missouri Fire Department (KCFD) said in a statement on Facebook that they were “shocked” by the death of Santi, a father and lifelong Kansas City resident who started his career with KCFD in 2011.

“As a close-knit organization, we are shocked by yesterday’s tragic loss of FF Santi, and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends,” said Donna Lake, the agency’s fire chief.

Witness Testimony

Prosecutors revealed more details in the Oct. 24 release about the moments leading up to the shooting.

They said the woman “fired a single shot in defense” of her boyfriend who was being strangled by Santi, adding that her claim was supported by an independent witness who has professional medical training.

The witness described Taylor as “totally defenseless,” noting that he “couldn’t talk, couldn’t breathe [and] he was turning purple” and that his “eyes rolled back into his head.”

The woman holding the gun begged Santi to stop as her “hands were shaking,” the prosecutor’s office said of the witnesses’ testimony.

Furthermore, the witness also testified that he believed overhearing Santi tell Taylor, “I’m killing you.”

Threatening Messages

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said it has received “numerous phone calls” with “offensive racist and sexist language” after it announced that no charges would be filed in the shooting death of Santi.

“These phone calls also include violent threats to our employees and the elected prosecutor,” the office stated. “Our employees are public servants who offer their careers and lives. They work hard to uphold the rule of law. The rule of law required that this case be declined.”

One example of a voicemail message directed at Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was reported by The Kansas City Star. The call included offensive language against the prosecutor.

“We’re going to burn your [explicit] house,” the caller reportedly said. “We’re [explicit] coming for you.”

From NTD News

Lorenz Duchamps

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