INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Kansas City man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to illegally possessing the gun used to kill an off-duty Kansas City firefighter.
Ja’Von L. Taylor, 23, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possessing a machine gun.
According to a federal affidavit, on Oct. 6, Taylor entered Liquor Land off U.S. 40 Highway in Independence.
Taylor became upset the store didn’t have the brand of cigars he wanted to buy and began yelling at the store clerk. The clerk refused to serve Taylor and told him to leave the store. When he refused, 41-year-old Anthony Santi stepped in and also told Taylor to leave.
The two men then left the store and began fighting in the parking lot. Surveillance cameras show Taylor pulled out a gun and the two men started fighting over it.
A woman, who arrived at the store with Taylor, then got out of a nearby vehicle, picked up the gun from Taylor and shot Santi in the back.
EMS pronounced Santi dead at the scene. Police located Taylor across the street and arrested him a short time later. Court documents say the woman’s mother brought her back to the crime scene and turned her into police.
A few weeks after the shooting, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the woman involved in the shooting will not be charged, noting it was self-defense.
Taylor has been detained in federal custody without bond since his arrest.
Taylor admitted to being in possession of a Glock .40-caliber handgun, which had been converted to a machine gun. Taylor has prior felony convictions for robbery and distributing marijuana, making it illegal for him to possess any firearm.
Taylor could face up to 25 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing for Taylor is scheduled on Aug. 3.