Raytown man charged in deadly Blue Springs restaurant shooting

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — A Raytown man is charged with several crimes after a shooting outside Bethlehem Cafe in Blue Springs left one man dead Thursday morning. 

John Jeffries, 24, is accused of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and two counts of armed criminal action. 

Around 11:15 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to a shots fired call at Bethlehem Cafe on Northwest Woods Chapel Road. 

A witness told police they saw two men in a mini-van in the restaurant's parking lot. One man shot the other and then the gunman took off, according to court documents. Another witness told police they saw two men wrestling inside the van before hearing a gunshot. 

The shooting victim, who was found in the parking lot, later died at the hospital. He was later identified as Clinton Peckman. 

Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz said after shooting Peckman, the suspect ran to a Taco Bell and KFC parking lot and tried to steal a car. The person in that vehicle was not injured, and officers took Jeffries into custody in the parking lot.

According to court documents, investigators later discovered Peckman lived in Kansas and went to Blue Springs, where he was working at Autumn Place Apartments. 

Earlier in the day, someone called the police and said Jeffries had damaged their vehicle in Independence. The caller said Jeffries was in a stolen vehicle at the Autumn Place Apartments and he might have been armed. That person called back later and said Jeffries was then at a different apartment complex. Blue Springs officers went to the area to search for Jeffries and the stolen vehicle but didn’t find anything. 

According to court documents, Peckman was working at Autumn Place Apartments with another employee when he asked for the keys to a work van to run an errand. 

Investigators said they don’t know when Peckman and Jeffries crossed paths, and they don’t believe they knew each other before this incident. 

Prosecutors requested a $250,000 bond. 

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