A Missouri off-duty firefighter was killed when he wrestled with an angry customer. Prosecutors have not filed charges against the girlfriend of the customer who shot the firefighter. She claimed that she did so to protect her boyfriend’s safety.
Anthony “Tony”, a 41-year-old Kansas City firefighter was at a station in Independence, Missouri when a customer became upset with the attendant for not having the brand of cigars that he wanted.
Ja’Von Taylor (23 years old) then hurled expletives toward the unnamed clerk, causing a disturbance. The clerk requested Taylor leave, but he refused. Santi intervened and asked Taylor to leave. The tensions became heated and Taylor began to fight inside the store. However, they ended up fighting outside.
Taylor reached for his gun and pulled it out of his car. Taylor and Santi struggled to grab the weapon. Santi finally managed to hold Taylor in a chokehold. Taylor’s girlfriend was sitting in Taylor’s car at the time and had asked Santi to stop making Taylor wrestle.
She yelled, “Stop sir, stop!” “Get off! “Get off! Stop! Stop!
The unidentified woman picked up the gun that had fallen to the floor and pointed it at Santi. She told him she would use the gun, and she did.
The episode was filmed by a witness and may have lasted up to 10 minutes. Although the video doesn’t show the actual shooting, it does contain 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
Moments after the end of the video, the woman shot Santi. Santi fell to the ground after the final shot and then walked back into the shop, where he died.
Jackson County prosecutors decided not to file charges against the woman after reviewing the video. They argued that she could reasonably have self-defense.
The prosecutor’s office released a statement saying that they were grieving with the Santi family and community for the tragic loss of their loved one. After careful consideration, we decided to drop the charges. Missouri law governs this case. We specifically considered self-defense and defense against others.
Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County prosecutor explained to reporters that if a case is rejected it is because there isn’t enough evidence to support the highest burden of proof.
Kevin Jamison is a Missouri attorney who was practicing law for over 40 years. According to WDAF TV, Jamison also “wrote Missouri’s book on weapons, self-defense” and offered his thoughts on why prosecutors might not press charges in this instance.
Jamison stated, “Technically it is called the defense of justification” and his justification was that he was saving another person’s life.
He said that Taylor was likely to be in danger because Santi had limited information about the “circumstances” surrounding the fight.
“The girlfriend is only limited by what she reasonably believes to be the circumstances.” He said, “If she didn’t witness the fight start, she doesn’t know if her boyfriend is being strangled.”
Taylor will face charges even though the girlfriend, who will remain anonymous, will not be prosecuted. He was charged with possessing a firearm by an indictable felon. Although he was convicted in the past of first-degree Robbery, the date and length of his sentence are still unknown.
Santi joined Kansas City Fire Department eleven years ago. According to his obituary, he loved “nature and being outside” and Donnie, his dog. But he loved his daughter, “the sunshine of his life,” and especially loved Donnie.
KCFD declined to comment to discuss the decision to not prosecute the woman.