INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Jackson County Prosecutors said a woman who shot and killed a Kansas City firefighter earlier this month will not be charged, saying it was self-defense.
Anthony “Tony” Santi died after he was shot at an Independence gas station along U.S. 40 Highway on Oct. 6.
While in the store, Santi heard Ja’Von Taylor cussing at a female employee. According to the affidavit, Taylor was upset the store didn’t have the brand of cigars he wanted to buy.
The clerk told Taylor to leave the store. When he refused, Santi stepped in and also told him to leave. Court documents show Taylor began threatening Santi.
The men left the business and began fighting in the parking lot.
The court document shows Taylor pulled a gun and the two men started fighting over the weapon. A woman who arrived at the store with Taylor got out of a vehicle. Video shows her picking up the gun from Taylor.
FOX4 showed the video to a practicing attorney of 40 years who wrote Missouri’s book on weapons and self-defense.
“Technically it’s called the defense of justification and your justification is you are saving the life of another person,” Kevin Jamison, author of Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law, said.
Jamison said in most cases it would be important to know who started the fight, but it may not be necessary in this case.
“The girlfriend is only constrained by what she reasonably believed to be the circumstances. If she didn’t see the start of the fight, all she knows is her boyfriend is getting strangled.”
The affidavit states the woman pointed the gun at Santi and shot him in the back.
Taylor is facing a weapons charge from the incident.
“We grieve with the family and community over this tragic loss of life of Mr. Santi,” the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The office went on to say that it came to the decision after carefully reviewing the evidence in the case.
At a forum on crime Tuesday night, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker addressed concerns she said she hears frequently that she returns too many yellow sheets, or notices she’s declined to charge.
“An officer will be upset because they don’t understand why that the case was declined,” she explained.
Peters Baker pointed out KCPD data shows she files charges at the same rate as Platte and Clay counties.
“If a case is declined, it’s just because we don’t believe there’s sufficient evidence to get to that highest burden of proof,” Peters Baker said.
Jamison said depending on witness statements, without that video, charges likely would have been filed.
But with that video, attorneys could have requested a self-defense hearing before the case even made it to a jury and likely had the charges dropped.
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