Neighbor charged with shooting Independence couple in their own driveway


Jeffery E. Wahl

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence couple was listed in critical condition on Tuesday after police said they were shot in their own driveway by their neighbor, who is a registered sex offender.

The shooting happened at a duplex in the 300 block of W. Farmer around 6:30 a.m. The victims are Carl Bryant, 62 and his wife Pam Bryant, 61.

Jeffery E. Wahl
Jeffery E. Wahl

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Jackson County Prosecutor's office charged Jeff Wahl, 69, with  two counts of assault and armed criminal action.

In the probable cause statement, police say Wahl rang the Bryants' doorbell to confront them about their vehicles with handicapped parking stickers. Carl Bryant answered the door, armed with a handgun. Police say Wahl overpowered Carl Bryant; they struggled and then they say Wahl shot them both.

Police say Wahl at first denied shooting the Bryants but then after further questioning, he admitted shooting Carl Bryant but said Pam Bryant was shot accidentally when she got between them in the argument.

The Bryants' daughter told FOX 4 that her parents have had trouble before with Wahl. On Monday, police cited Wahl for assault, stealing and property damage over a conflict with different neighbors. However, police did not take him into custody.

One neighbor said that on Monday Wahl became combative and was disturbing neighbors' mailboxes, then threatened another neighbor.

"As he came out the back door Jeffrey stood up from the front passenger side of the car with a big knife and said, 'You're next,' and chucked a beer can at him," said Laura Wright, one neighbor.

According to Laura, that neighbor was troubled enough about Wahl's behavior and decided to spend the night somewhere else.

At the crime scene, police also found the Bryants' car tires had been slashed. Wahl surrendered to police after a brief standoff. He initially refused to come out, but later walked out with his hands up and was taken into custody.

He's being held on $500,000 bond.

According to public records, Wahl is a sex offender convicted of indecent exposure in 1992. Records show he was forced to register as a sex offender after a conviction for exposing himself to young girls in Los Angeles.

Watch our earlier coverage:

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