Mo. prosecutor’s office won’t pursue murder charge in fatal shooting of off-duty firefighter
Court documents state that Anthony Santi intervened when a gas station customer argued with a clerk over cigars
By Andrea Klick
The Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against the person who fatally shot an off-duty Kansas City firefighter earlier this month because of Missouri’s laws governing the defense of oneself or another.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office opted not to move forward with a requested second-degree murder charge, saying they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person acted outside Missouri law when she shot and killed 41-year-old Anthony Santi, according to official documents.
“We grieve with the family and community over this tragic loss of life of Mr. Santi,” the prosecutor’s office wrote in a statement to The Star. “Missouri law governs this case, specifically self-defense and defense of others, leading us to decline charges after a careful review.”
Santi was shot around 2:30 p.m. Oct. 6 outside a gas station in Independence.
According to court documents, Santi intervened when a customer argued with a clerk who told him the gas station didn’t have the kind of cigars he wanted. After the clerk refused the man service and told him to leave, Santi, who was off duty, also told him to leave.
The customer “jumped away” from Santi and started threatening him, court records said. Surveillance video showed the incident move outside, when the man reaches into a white SUV and pulls out an item.
The video showed Santi and the man fighting over the item — a firearm with an extended magazine, according to court documents. When Santi got the man in a headlock, a female passenger left the vehicle, got the gun and pointed it at Santi.
She allegedly fired a shot that appeared to hit Santi in the back, according to court records.
Santi let go of the man and walked back into the store, where he collapsed and died, court records said.
According to his obituary, Santi joined the Kansas City Fire Department in 2011, where he was “dedicated to helping people through his role” as a firefighter and EMT. His daughter was “the light of his life.”
“He had a vast love for nature and being outdoors,” his obituary said. “Tony was happiest being at the lake paddleboarding, hiking and spending time with his beloved dog, Donnie.”
In connection with the shooting, federal prosecutors previously charged 23-year-old Ja’Von L. Taylor in U.S. District Court in Kansas City for alleged possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The Kansas City Fire Department declined to comment on the decision not to charge the shooter.
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office was unable to determine whether the person who fatally shot Anthony Santi took actions protected by Missouri law.