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70-year-old man charged in fatal shooting of teen in Clinton, Missouri

Reportedly claims shooting was accidental
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Posted at 12:02 PM, Sep 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 13:02:15-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 70-year-old man has been charged after a teenager was fatally shot Sunday night in Clinton, Missouri.

Thomas Allen Ribby reportedly told police that when he shot the 16-year-old teenager in the back, he pulled the trigger believing that the gun was unloaded, per court documents. Police believe the victim can be heard in a 911 call saying that his grandfather "accidentally" shot him.

Ribby was charged Monday with one count endangering the welfare of a child, resulting in the death of the child, and one count resisting or interfering with arrest for a felony.

Ribby claims that on Sunday evening he provided the victim with an unloaded .45 caliber Glock 30 pistol to play with. One witness reported seeing the teenager playing with the weapon around an apartment complex.

The suspect said he later took the firearm from the victim and loaded it, putting it in a case next to his bed. Ribby said the teenager was later playing with the weapon, again. Ribby claimed he removed the loaded magazine from the pistol and pulled the trigger — believing the chamber was not loaded — while the gun was pointed at the teen, according to a probable cause statement.

The witness says they later heard a gunshot and saw the victim sliding down the front of a vehicle, saying he didn't know if Ribby still had the firearm.

Another witness reported that the victim came to her bedroom after he was shot, and told her, "Papa shot me." The witness also said that Ribby admitted to shooting the teenager before returning to an apartment. She also stated that the relationship between Ribby and the victim has "recently improved."

Clinton police responded to a reported shooting in the 400 block of North Price Lane around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

A probable cause statement from a Clinton officer says that upon arrival, police found a male 16-year-old victim outside an apartment building lying face-down on the sidewalk surrounded by blood.

Life-saving measures were attempted on the teen, but he died from injuries.

The document outlines that police located Ribby exiting the apartment building and ordered him to drop to the ground. Ribby reportedly locked himself in an apartment. Police later entered the residence and arrested Ribby.

The apartment was later searched with a warrant, and a .45 caliber Glock 30 pistol was located unloaded. Detectives searched the area and found a .45 caliber shell casing — that had been fired — on the sidewalk, per court documents.

Another witness told police they heard screaming and door slamming before the weapon was fired.

A fourth individual said she gave Ribby whiskey prior to the shooting.

Ribby told police he had not been fighting with the victim prior to the shooting.

Ribby's cash bond has been set at $100,000. Under his bond conditions, he cannot possess or consume alcohol and cannot possess a firearm.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at Tips leading to an arrest made through the Tips Hotline may be eligible for up to a $25,000 reward.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.