Defendant in accidental shooting in KC Zoo parking lot receives 4-year sentence

Zoo shooting scene
Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 11:08:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The man who accidentally shot and killed a 19-year-old in the parking lot of the Kansas City Zoo in August 2020 was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal prison.

Anthony Meneses, who is now 29 years old, was retrieving a gun from the back pocket of the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the parking lot when the gun went off and killed Jason Smith, who was shot in the chest as he sat in the driver’s seat.

Meneses was charged with illegal possession of a firearm. He had prior felony convictions for vehicle theft and burglary, and federal law prohibits felons from possessing firearms.

The arrest was part of Operation LeGend, a months-long federal partnership with Kansas City-area police that started in July 2020.

Meneses pleaded guilty to the gun charge in August 2021.

U.S. District Judge Greg Keys handed down the sentence.

Two other people in addition to Smith, who died after being transported to Research Medical Center, and Meneses were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.