Guards charged with killing man outside Kansas City, Missouri bar

Guards charged with killing man outside Kansas City, Missouri bar
Posted at 8:46 AM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 09:46:05-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two security guards have been charged with fatally shooting a man outside a Kansas City bar.

Christopher Jones, 37, and Markell Pinkins, 22, were charged Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court with second-degree murder in the death of Kevin Thomas, the Kansas City Star reported.

Thomas, 45, struck a parked vehicle across the street from the Yum Yum Bar & Grill in January while the guards were stationed at the door, police said.

According to a witness, a passenger exited Thomas' car and said Thomas was drunk. The witness also told police the guards approached Thomas' vehicle with their weapons drawn. The guards repeatedly asked Thomas to turn off the car and exit the vehicle, according to court documents.

The witness alleged Thomas' car inched forward "not even a foot" before the guards opened fire. Jones fired a gun three times through Thomas' windshield, while Pinkins shot through the open driver-side window, according to police. Police found Thomas lying handcuffed in the street next to his car.

A second witness gave a similar account of the shooting.

Jones argued he shot at the vehicle in self-defense. Pinkins alleged he was wedged between Thomas' car and a parked vehicle. He also alleged that Thomas revved his engine, but video surveillance showed no "aggressive movement of the victim's vehicle prior to guards discharging their firearms," police said.

The guards acknowledged to police that they lacked the authority to handle incidents off the bar's premises, court documents show. No attorneys are listed for Jones or Pinkins, who both worked for the private firm Force One Security and Consulting.

A Force One employee declined the newspaper's request for comment Wednesday.

A third guard, Leon Doniphan, is charged with tampering with physical evidence for allegedly hiding Jones' gun afterward.

Jones' and Pinkins' bonds were set at $200,000.