Clay County prosecutors file murder charge in deadly shooting at American Inn


NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Metro Squad investigation into a deadly shooting at the American Inn on November 13 has led to a murder charge against a 27-year-old man. Clay County prosecutors charged Zachary B. Gifford with second-degree murder and armed criminal action over the weekend, court documents were released on Monday.

Zachary Gifford is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for a deadly shooting that happened at American Inn on November 13, 2019.

Jacob Roberson, 28, died in the shooting where one other victim in an adjacent room was grazed. Officers went to the American Inn at about 4:45 that Wednesday afternoon after the victim who was grazed reported the shooting to the front desk manager.

Court documents say detectives interviewed Gifford’s sister and father, who voluntarily went to investigators after they spoke with the suspect. They said that Gifford went to the American Inn to “meet someone to get an understanding.” Gifford said he and Roberson got into a fight and both pulled out guns, Gifford shooting him three times before leaving the room and fleeing from the scene.

Gifford’s dad said his son’s accounting of the shooting made it seem as if he had no remorse about what happened, and that he was treating it like some kind of game. Gifford told his dad he planned to go north and had family in Iowa.

On Saturday, the mom of someone associated with Gifford called the Metro Squad and revealed that he and that person were in Ottumwa, Iowa. FOX4 is not revealing that person’s name because they are not currently facing charges. Officers responded to a home and Gifford was arrested, he’s currently in jail in Iowa.

When Gifford is returned to Clay County, he’ll be held on a $1 million bond. He currently doesn’t have any court dates listed.

FOX4 will continue to follow developments with this story, specifically whether any of four people seen on surveillance video who were wanted for questioning will face charges related to this case. When Gifford spoke with his dad, he was in the company of five other people.

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