Independence man found guilty of murder in shooting at Independence Center

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Independence man has been found guilty of murder in connection with a fatal 2018 shooting in the parking lot of Independence Center mall.

A Jackson County jury found Tyler Gates guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action Thursday.

In January 2018, police responded to Independence center on a reported shooting. Officers found the victim, 17-year-old Matthew Haylock, laying in the parking lot, suffering from gunshot wounds.

According to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, a witness told police Gates and Haylock were in the vehicle in the mall’s parking lot. The witness said Gates pointed a gun at Haylock and then the witness heard a gunshot.

Gates allegedly asked for help to push Haylock out of the vehicle before leaving the parking lot. The vehicle was later found with handguns inside and blood in the backseat.

The jury recommended that Gates serve a sentence of 20 years on the murder charge and 7 years for armed criminal action.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug 14.

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