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Kansas City man faces several charges in Plaza hotel shooting

Sheraton Suites shooting.jpeg
Posted at 11:23 AM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 12:23:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man has been charged with several felonies following a deadly shooting inside the Sheraton Suites hotel on the Country Club Plaza Tuesday morning.

Derell Thompson, 35, is charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, child endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm in the incident.

According to a probable cause statement, Thompson tried to get a room key from the front desk.

He reportedly told the desk clerk his child was dead in the room and he needed a key to get in.

The clerk asked for ID and told him the system was lagging, and Thompson walked away, she told police.

He then sent his son to the desk to ask for a key, and when she told him her system was still slow, Thompson became “extremely agitated.”

She gave him a fake key and he walked toward the elevators, from where she heard Thompson yell “You think you are going to get away with killing my son?” followed by several shots.

A valet who was also witness to some of the incident reported he saw the victim, identified as Darron Mitchem, lying on the floor in the elevator suffering from several gunshot wounds.

Much of the shooting was captured on surveillance video, according to court documents.

It shows Thompson’s 12-year-old son had entered the elevator with the victim when Thompson started shooting.

Thompson was apprehended in front of the Courtyard Inn at 4600 JC Nichols Rd., and police found a gun in the greenery nearby.

In custody, Thompson told police voluntarily that he’d shot someone.

After being read his Miranda Rights and confirming he understood them, Thompson told officers he blacked out and the whole incident was a blur.

He said he shot Mitchem, who was a friend of his, because he thought he’d killed his son in the room.

Thompson said he was also fearful for his own life.

He didn’t know how many times he shot the victim, he told police.

Police obtained a search warrant for Thompson’s room.

Inside the found three handguns with extended magazines, ammunition, three cellphones, narcotics and a scale.

Thompson has a prior felony drug conviction in Jackson County.

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 P3Tips.com.

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