Brandon Howell charged in connection with Tuesday's triple homicide

A man convicted of multiple crimes and once acquitted of a double murder was charged Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of three people.

Brandon Howell, 34, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of assault, and other charges related to the early Tuesday afternoon shooting in south Kansas City, said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Howell was also charged with assault for the two victims, George and Anna Taylor, who were severely injured Tuesday. A statement released by the hospital stated family members did not want any information released. Howell is accused of trying to steal the car belonging to one of the victims. He eventually headed to the Northland in a stolen Toyota Highlander, where he allegedly assaulted three people at a motel.

"Our thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. "The senseless tragedy of yesterday that will leave a scar on the community that has been quiet and tranquil for years."

Howell has been convicted of multiple crimes, and was once charged and later acquitted of a 1998 double homicide , according to court records.

Howell made his first court appearance Thursday morning, where the judge read the charges against him. He requested a public defender, stating that he could not afford an attorney. He continues to be held without bond.

UPDATE, 4:26 p.m.: Platte County prosecutors have filed charges against Brandon Howell in connection with Tuesday afternoon's incident at a Northland motel, the prosecuting attorney said in a news release. Howell has been charged with first-degree burglary, three charges of assault, unlawfully possessing a firearm as a felon, and tampering with a vehicle and operating it without the owner's consent.

RELATED: Read the probable cause statement related to Howell's arrest in Jackson County (PDF) .

Homicide victims identified; assault victims remain hospitalized

The three people killed in Tuesday's shooting have been identified as 69-year-old Susan Choucroun, 88-year-old Lorene Hurst, and her son, 63-year-old Darrel Hurst. Family members originally confirmed their identities and Kansas City police later confirmed them via a news release

Two other people were allegedly beaten by Howell at the Woodbridge Lane scene, according to court documents. They remain hospitalized.

The Hurst family release a statement to 41 Action News:

We are devasted by the loss of Lorene Hurst and her son, Darrel Hurst. Darrel was over visiting his mother, Lorene yesterday when they were both killed. He frequently stopped by her home, so this wasn't an unsual event.  While we are unsure of all of the events that transpired that day, but we are comforted knowing that they were together. Our prayers go out to the other families and victims in the neighborhood as they are struggling to deal with their grief as well. Our hearts are broken and we ask for our privacy during this difficult time.

Tuesday's events

Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a disturbance on Woodbridge Lane just off Wornall Road on the city's south side. The cul-de-sac where the shooting took place is just outside the Blue Hills Country Club.

Three people were fatally shot, police said . Two others were beaten.

A little over two hours later, police were called to a Motel 6 in the Northland after three people reported being assaulted by a man. In the course of their investigation, police found a SUV belonging to one of the shooting victims in a nearby parking lot.

Police were later called to a man walking down Interstate 29. Around midnight, police arrested a man carrying a weapon on I-29 and 72nd Street . At the time, they called him a "person of interest" in the motel assault, but did not state if he was being investigated for the triple homicide.

Amy Hawley, Andres Gutierrez, Cynthia Newsome, Jenna Hanchard and Syed Shabbir contributed to this report.

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