Mom of man killed in Gladstone hit-and-run says her son was killed by a friend

GLADSTONE, Mo. -- A 43-year-old man faces a first-degree murder charge related to a hit-and-run crash in Gladstone on Tuesday night.

Clay County prosecutors say Michael Myers used his truck as a weapon and meant to do it, pinning 36-year-old James Pettijohn up against the wall of The Arcs Thrift Store.

“And the neighbor said he was hauling a** down that road, whipped into that parking lot and bam! So he aimed, he was going for it. He knew what he was going to do,” said Pettijohn’s mother, Sherry Jefferson, during an interview with FOX4 on Thursday.

It was Tuesday evening when Jefferson dropped her son off at the thrift store to meet his girlfriend. The two had been running errands all day, and Jefferson had no idea it would be the last time she saw her son alive.

Pettijohn was killed, she said, by a friend.

“They were buddies, and it was just like they had been buddies for years. They grew up, like, the best of buddies. And then this,” Jefferson said. “He was texting. They were taking about, 'Let’s go get some beer. Let’s drink. Let’s do this. Let's do that,' and then I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what happened, I really don’t understand,” she said.

Pettijohn died from his injuries, and his girlfriend was taken to the hospital. Jefferson believes her son’s death was the result of a love triangle between them.

“She was with him when James was incarcerated. When he got out, she would run back to James,” Jefferson said.

The woman who was injured has been released from the hospital. Myers was arrested and charged Thursday. His bond is set at $1,000,000.

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