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Affidavit reveals new details from night of fatal Leavenworth police shooting

Altercation leads to officer involved shooting in Platte County
Posted at 10:14 AM, Aug 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-21 11:14:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Aug. 10, Leavenworth police officers shot a 25-year-old suspect, who died from injuries later that week.

While affidavits are typically require a review involving the court system, an affidavit containing the accounts of Leavenworth police involved in the case was released Monday by the Leavenworth Police Department, detailing the events that led to the shooting.

The document reveals that Johnathan Heath-Taylor, 25, of Leavenworth, is suspected of committing first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, rape, aggravated domestic battery, flee or attempt to elude and breach of privacy.

On Aug. 10, the mother to Heath-Taylor's children told police that ever since Heath-Taylor had previously been arrested in a domestic incident, he only comes to their home in the 900 block of Columbia Avenue to watch their four children while she is working, and that he does not have a key to the home.

She said that on the night of Aug. 9, Heath-Taylor was refusing to leave the home. Documents say that Heath-Taylor got into a fight with his half-brother, and that a friend of hers got both men to leave.

After her friend left and the kids were put to bed, the woman said Heath-Taylor returned to the home without permission and wrapped a rope around her neck to the point where she could not breathe, and that she believed he would kill her. She said during the struggle, she fell and hit her head on the shower wall, leaving a lump and bruise on the left side of her forehead.

Documents say the man told her "If you scream I'll kill you," and that he had been watching her through the video stream on the baby monitor.

The affidavit states that she reported being forcefully raped, and that Heath-Taylor attempted to smother and strangle her. The woman pleaded with the 25-year-old to call for an ambulance, which he initially refused, saying: "If the police are out to get me, I'm going to get them to shoot me before I can shoot them. Either you're dying or I'm dying."

She asked him to lie and say she fell off the bed, and EMS were called.

EMS arrived to the scene and were informed by the woman that she had been raped by Heath-Taylor, per court document, and police responded to the home at 12:50 a.m. on Aug. 10. Police searched the home and did not find the suspect inside the residence, but did locate yellow rope on a box in the basement.

The affidavit reports that the woman had bruising on her upper-right neck that appeared to be caused by fingers, bruising on the middle of her neck, a lump on her head, a busted lip and bruising on her left inner-thigh and both triceps. She received medical treatment but refused to be transferred to an area hospital because her four children were home.

The woman shared Heath-Taylor's description and vehicle description with officers and received medical attention.

The officer left the residence and witnessed the suspect driving the reported vehicle slowly east on Spruce while looking towards the residence. The officer informed the listening units that he had probable cause to arrest Health-Taylor for domestic battery at minimum.

A traffic stop was attempted, but Health-Taylor did not yield. A pursuit took place from Leavenworth into the state of Missouri, at the Missouri 45 Highway spur. The suspect was shot as police attempted to take him into custody.

Police announced on Aug. 14 that he died from injuries sustained in the shooting.

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.