Prosecutors charge KC couple in deadly shooting outside McDonald’s in Independence

Matthew A. Woodward and Erica J. Williams charged in the July 14 deadly shooting outside a McDonald's in Independence.

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Kansas City couple has been charged in connection with a deadly shooting outside a McDonald’s restaurant on 40 Highway in Independence on July 14.

Prosecutors announced Thursday that 34-year-old Matthew A. Woodward has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. Erica J. Williams, 32, has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

According to court records, on July 14, just after 12:30 p.m., officers responded to a shooting at the McDonald’s off 40 Highway and Interstate 70 in Independence. When they arrived they found two people who had been shot. One of the victims’ identified as Brian K. Jones Woodruff, died from his injuries at an area hospital.

A witness who was leaving a nearby Walmart told police that a man in an older model van was shooting from the vehicle at a group of men.

Detectives, through a review of surveillance video and witness statements, determined that Woodward was responsible for Woodruff’s death. A witness told police that she had told the suspects about one of the victims threatening her. They told the witness they planned to rob the man.

Williams drove the vehicle and Woodward jumped out of it once they identified the man. Woodward fired shots, hitting two men, killing Woodruff, who just happened to be standing nearby. The suspect vehicle then sped away.

Later, Williams filed a police report saying her vehicle had been stolen. Shell casings form the scene matched a firearm recovered by Kansas City police. Williams had purchased the weapon in March 2019. Tests of the shell casings from the scene matched the weapon.

Prosecutors have requested a $250,000 cash bond for Woodward and a $200,000 bond for Williams.

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