CLAYCOMO, Mo. – The man accused of killing a father of three in the parking lot of the Ford Plant early Thursday morning was charged on Friday with first-degree murder by the Clay County prosecutor.
Witnesses say they know the suspect, Deonte Buffington-Hardy, 25, of Kansas City, Mo., as a longtime, childhood friend of victim Brandon Nunnally, 26, who was shot three times; twice in the chest and once in the head in the parking lot of the Ford plant in Claycomo at about 4 a.m., on Thursday.
Hardy has been charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action. Prosecutors requested bond to be set at $1 million.
Nunnally, a father of three had just welcomed a baby daughter into the world six weeks ago. His other children include a one-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.
Nunnally was originally from Michigan and had worked at the Ford-Claycomo plant for about a year.
According to the probable cause statement, police obtained surveillance video that showed a dark-colored Jeep pull into the parking lot from northbound 69 Highway at about 3:15 a.m. It remained parked there for about 30 minutes. At about 4:05 a.m., the Jeep moved to the north side of a turnstyle, where the Jeep's license plate was partially in view. Five minutes later, the Jeep appears to be following a person walking.
In interviews with witnesses, one said he was sitting in his car, next to Brandon Nunnally's car. Nunnally was talking to a man he described as his best friend, the witness said. Then the witness heard a gunshot and turned and saw Brandon on the ground and the man standing over Brandon, the witness described.
"The guy then fired a gunshot at Brandon's torso and then his head," the witness said in his statement.
The suspect then jumped into what looked like a navy-colored Dodge Nitro SUV, according to the witness. That witness told police he recognized the gunman as a childhood friend of Brandon's.
Another witness reportedly searched the the Nunnally's Facebook page and found the person she said shot Nunnally. That person was Deonte Buffington-Hardy, according to the witness.
One witness said Brandon Nunnally once tried to set her up on a date with Deonte Buffington-Hardy, but it never happened.
The first witness sitting next to Nunnally in the parking lot picked Hardy out of a photo lineup of six potential suspects and said he was 'two thousand percent sure it was Deonte' who shot the victim.
Police found Buffington-Hardy at his residence in Gladstone off N.E. 72nd Terrace. There was a Jeep in the driveway registered to Buffington-Hardy. Police say they found a loaded .40 caliber Glock pistol inside the car. The ammo in the Glock was consistent with the shell casings found at the murder scene, police say.
When police brought him in for questioning, they say Buffington-Hardy waived his Miranda rights and answered some of the investigator's questions.
Police say he admitted to the following:
- Smoking weed between midnight and 1 a.m. on Thursday, when he passed out in his bed. He said his wife was in bed with him.
- He said he was awoken by a phone call at 9 a.m. Thursday, telling him about a shooting.
- He said the gun had been in his possession the whole time.
- Police say he denied knowing Brandon Nunnally and denied knowing he had been shot.
When detectives interviewed his wife, they say she told them she was mad at him because he had her car and was gone all Wednesday evening with her car. She said she took a 'Magnesium' to help her sleep and went to bed. She reportedly told police that she woke up at about 4:30 a.m., to go to work and saw Deonte sitting on their bed in his clothes. She also said Deonte had been home all Wednesday evening. She reportedly told police that Deonte and Brandon were good friends.
FOX 4's Robert Townsend is continuing our coverage of this story and will have updates on FOX 4 newscasts. Also check the fox4kc app, refresh this story on the website, and look for new posts on Facebook.