NewsKansas City Public Safety


Florida man charged with hate crime in deadly stabbing of Black man at gas station in Kansas City

Sean Walter Tonkin
Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 10:34:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Florida man is accused of stabbing a Black man to death at a Kansas City, Missouri, gas station because of his race, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday

Sean Walter Tonkin, 36, was indicted in federal court Wednesday for committing a racially-motivated hate crime resulting in the death of 41-year-old Jon Rone.

According to court documents, Tonkin, who is white, was armed with a knife with knuckles when he approached Rone, who was Black, at a gas station on July 4, 2023.

Tonkin was unprovoked when he allegedly directed racist epithets and threats at Rone, according to court papers.

He later allegedly stabbed Rone twice in the chest and abdomen, who later died from injuries suffered in the attack.

"The indictment alleges that Tonkin attacked J.M.R. [Rone] because of his race," the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said in a press release.

Tonkin had previously been charged in Jackson County with peace disturbance and possession of a controlled substance in connection to the incident.

In documents supporting those charges, witnesses told detectives that before Tonkin stabbed Rone, he had called him the N-word.

Court documents also stated that "witnesses describe the defendant using racially-charged and aggressive comments earlier in the day leading up to the incident, and immediately before and during the confrontation between the defendant and the victim."

KSHB 41 is publishing Tonkin's mugshot due to the notoriety of the crime he's accused of. You can read our mug shot policy here.