After an off-duty Missouri firefighter was fatally shot in the back, prosecutors have declined to press charges against a woman on grounds of self-defense.
The decision from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office came weeks after the October 6 incident at an Independence, Mo., gas station where 41-year-old off-duty Kansas City Firefighter Anthony Santi was allegedly shot by an unnamed woman said to be the girlfriend of 23-year-old Ja’Von L. Taylor.
“We grieve with the family and community over this tragic loss of life of Mr. Santi,” the prosecutor’s office expressed in a statement to The Kansas City Star. “Missouri law governs this case, specifically self-defense and defense of others, leading us to decline charges after a careful review.”
A video depicting a portion of the incident circulated online and showed Santi in the parking lot of the gas station outside Kansas City wrestling Taylor and attempting to subdue him as the reported girlfriend screamed for the firefighter to stop while waving a firearm around.
Graphic Content 🚨⚠️
A Kansas City woman has been set free of charges tonight after protecting her boyfriend in a fight with a firefighter. The young lady seconds later killed the firefighter which has now been declared as self defense. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/tuxV15oTC1
— KC Discover (@KcDiscover) October 19, 2022
Court documents detailed that Santi had attempted to intercede on the behalf of a store clerk when Taylor learned his preferred cigars were unavailable and grew heated. Service was refused and the clerk reportedly asked Taylor to leave before Santi echoed the direction.
It was then that Taylor, a convicted felon who was found guilty of armed robbery in May 2019, was said to have begun threatening the firefighter. When the two men exited the store, surveillance footage showed Taylor reach into a white SUV and remove a firearm before Santi then fought for possession of the weapon.
While the firefighter continued to struggle with the felon, the firearm was picked up by the woman said to be Taylor’s girlfriend. The approximately 10-minute-long altercation came to an end when the woman, who was heard on video screaming “You’re killing him” allegedly fired once striking Santi in the back.
It was then that court records said Santi let go of Taylor, reentered the store, collapsed and died.
Kansas City Fire Department Chief Donna Lake released a statement responding to the death that read in part, “As a close-knit organization, we are shocked by yesterday’s tragic loss of FF Santi, and my deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.”
The only charges filed following Santi’s death were those against Taylor in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City for his alleged possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
The man pulled a gun on the firefighter and the firefighter defended himself. Then the perp handed his gun off to the woman to commit the murder he couldn’t bcs he was being restrained. Kansas City is sending a message. You must allow yourself to be murdered.
— ZeeTeeAy (@ZeeTeeAy) October 21, 2022
This wasnt self defense. This was a prosecutor afraid of riots and not wanting his city to burn. That’s all this is. And that was exactly the point of those riots and burning. To cow prosecutors with the threat of violence.
— Las Vegas Libertarian (@LV_Libertarian) October 21, 2022
Santi’s obituary explained that in addition to his parents, a sister and other relatives, he is survived by his daughter. “Tony was a dedicated father, and his daughter Jillian was the light of his life. He had a vast love for nature and being outdoors. Tony was happiest being at the lake paddleboarding, hiking and spending time with his beloved dog, Donnie.”
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