Man charged in gas station shootings

gas-station-shootingJackson County prosecutors on Thursday charged a Kansas City man with shooting a father to death and critically injuring his 10-year-old son.

The shootings last Friday at a gas station at 45th Street and Cleveland Avenue prompted outrage and police calls for help from witnesses.

According to court records:

Video cameras at the gas station, police work and witnesses led to the arrest Wednesday.

Dontae C. Jefferson, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful possession of a gun and two counts of armed criminal action.

Police say he walked up a Chevrolet Impala at a gas pump and shot eight .40 caliber bullets into it, killing Kavyea Curry and severely injuring his 10-year-old son.

Video surveillance footage from about a half hour before the shooting showed a black four-door Chevrolet Tahoe arriving at the gas station, “with a chrome front bumper, chrome door trim, running boards, with the right rear wheel lug nut cover missing.”

The shooter and a man with him went into the business. The shooter wore a watch with a large face, had a large earring in his left ear and used a white cell phone.

The victim also went into the store and left while the other two men were still there. The shooter put on a dark colored hoodie.

He and his associate left in the Tahoe and parked it a short distance away. The shooter then got out,  fired the gun at the gas station, returned to the Tahoe and the men drove off.

On Wednesday, police saw a vehicle matching the  Tahoe and followed it to a business at 31st Street and Prospect Avenue, where the driver parked it.

The driver looked like the shooter, wore a large watch and used a white cell phone.

The driver and another man that looked like the associate at the gas station walked away on Prospect Avenue, and police arrested them.

Police found the owner of the Tahoe, who said Jefferson had been using it and gave them permission to search it.

They found:  “a fully loaded .40 caliber handgun with a live round in the chamber, capable of lethal force, was discovered hidden from view and easily accessible in an unsecured area under the cup holder between the two front seats of the Tahoe.”

The also found a box of .40 caliber ammunition with 11 rounds missing.

A witness, not knowing of a murder investigation, told police Jefferson parked the Tahoe on Prospect and identified him from the gas station surveillance video.

Another witness, Jefferson’s alleged associate at the gas station, admitted he was there with Jefferson. While seated in the parked Tahoe nearby, he said, he heard gunshots before Jefferson returned and they drove away.

He said Jefferson “tossed the dark hoodie out the Tahoe shortly after the shooting on southbound 71 Highway between Blue Parkway and 53rd Street.

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