Girlfriend of 17-year-old killed in Independence Center parking lot says murder was planned

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The girlfriend of an Independence teen killed in a mall parking lot says the murder was planned.

Eighteen-year-old Tyler Gates has been charged with killing 17-year-old Matthew Haylock in a car parked outside the Independence Center.

Aliyah Turner

Prosecutors said Haylock and Gates were in the same car when Gates grabbed the victim's own gun and killed him with it.

Matthew Haylock

“When I got up there, I saw him lying in the parking lot,” said Aliyah Turner, Haylock’s girlfriend.

Turner said when she heard the news she had one thing on her mind.

“It was my baby,” Turner said. “He won't get to hold her when she's born.”

Turner is six months pregnant with Haylock's daughter.

Court documents say the shooting started as a fight in a car.

“The dude just turned around and pointed the gun at him, and they were fighting because Matt was pushing the gun away from him," Turner said. "And he put it to Matt's stomach and shot him in the stomach, and he died instantly. And he pushed him out of the car in the parking lot."

According to court documents, a witness inside the car got out just moments before Haylock was shot. That witness told police Gates asked for help getting the body out of the car.

“If you were going to rob him, take what he has and let him go," Turner said. "But no, he took what he had, and he killed him."

Police said Gates then left the parking lot. Officers later found the car with blood in the back seat.

Tyler Gates

Turner said she believes her boyfriend's murder was planned, based on a conversation she had a with a friend who knew the witness.

“She's like, 'I gave Luis a ride the other day, the day before, to the gas station, and he was talking about robbing Matt,' and I was like, 'Why are you telling me this now?' Because if that's the case, I would have kept Matt at my house,” Turner said.

Haylock and Turner met at Van Horn High School. Turner said he gave her a promise ring and told her he wanted to marry her one day.

Now she wants Tyler Gates to go away for good.

“You take someones life, I think, it's automatically life yourself,” Turner said.

Gates faces second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges. Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 bond.

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