Independence, MO – The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday that prosecutors would not file criminal charges against the woman who fatally shot an off-duty Kansas City firefighter who was fighting with her boyfriend in a gas station parking lot (video below).
The incident occurred on Oct. 6 at a gas station along U.S. Highway 40 when 41-year-old Anthony “Tony” Santi walked into the convenience store and heard another customer cussing out a female employee, WDAF reported.
Police said that 23-year-old Ja’Von Taylor was upset the store didn’t have the brand of cigars that he wanted to buy, according to an affidavit filed with the court.
The store clerk told Taylor to leave the store and he refused, WDAF reported.
That was when Santi, an off-duty Kansas City (Missouri) firefighter, stepped in and told Taylor to leave, too.
Court records showed that Taylor threatened Santi and then left the store and went to his car to get a gun, KMBC reported.
Police said Taylor pulled out a handgun with an extended magazine, pointed it at the good Samaritan, and then the two men began fighting for control of the weapon.
Cell phone video showed that Santi was on top of Taylor and struggling to disarm him when a woman got out of Taylor’s car, WDAF reported.
The video showed the woman took Taylor’s gun from his hand and stepped away from the fighting men as she screamed “let him go, let him go!” at Santi.
The woman held the gun in both hands and pointed it at the fighting men, the video showed.
Then she approached the men again, holding the weapon in her left hand, and tried to pull Santi off Taylor with her right hand.
Witnesses told KMBC that the fight in the parking lot may have gone on for almost 10 minutes.
Video showed the woman held onto the gun and tried again to get Santi to get off of Taylor while she screamed at him that her kids were in the car watching.
“Stop! You’re killing him!” she screeched and began hitting Santi on the head with her hand.
When Santi didn’t let go of her boyfriend, the woman stepped back, pointed her gun at Santi, opened fire, and fatally shot him, KMBC reported.
The affidavit filed with the court said the woman shot Santi in the back.
Taylor was arrested after the fight and charged with felony possession of a firearm, KMBC reported.
The woman who shot the good Samaritan was initially taken into custody as well.
But on Oct. 18, the prosecutor’s office announced that it was declining to bring charges against the woman who killed the good Samaritan that her boyfriend had started a fight with, citing “self-defense.”
“We grieve with the family and community over this tragic loss of life of Mr. Santi,” the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
“Missouri law governs this case, specifically self-defense and defense of others, leading us to decline charges after a careful review,” the statement continued.
Legal experts said that without the video, the woman would have likely been charged, WDAF reported.
At a crime forum Tuesday night, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker responded to accusations that too often she has declined to charge criminals in the community, WDAF reported.
“An officer will be upset because they don’t understand why that the case was declined,” Peters Baker explained, but point out Kansas City Police Department data showed she files charges against criminal suspects at the same rate as her colleagues in Platte and Clay counties.
“If a case is declined, it’s just because we don’t believe there’s sufficient evidence to get to that highest burden of proof,” Peters Baker said.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content:
Graphic Content 🚨⚠️
A Kansas City woman has been set free of charges tonight after protecting her boyfriend in a fight with a firefighter. The young lady seconds later killed the firefighter which has now been declared as self defense. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/tuxV15oTC1
— KC Discover (@KcDiscover) October 19, 2022