Mom says justice not served in daughter's shooting death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After waiting four months for details surrounding her daughter Jessika Peppers’s death, Carol Peppers got the news the man who shot Jessika won't be charged with a crime. 

Carol Peppers said getting that phone call was "devastating."

David Love, Jessika Peppers's ex-boyfriend, said he shot her in self-defense, but Carol Peppers believes he knew she was coming over.

"We had a cellphone of hers that we know there was communication between the two of them. Her asking for her things back. Phone calls she had made to him the night before," Carol Peppers told 41 Action News. 

That cellphone is in a police evidence room, and Carol Peppers won't be able to pick up the phone and Jessika Peppers’s other belongings until the end of December. 

According to court documents, Love told investigators he was sleeping in his bed around 2 p.m. on August 25 when he heard a noise. He picked up his shotgun and fired when Jessika Peppers came around the corner. He said he didn't know it was her.

Police said a hammer was in Jessika Peppers’s hand when she died in the hallway from a gunshot wound to her head. 

Police found Love in the backyard. 

"I don't know how you can have time to raise a shotgun and aim it at the sight of someone's head and see a hammer but not see the person who you're shooting," Carol Peppers said with disbelief.

Carol Peppers said Jessika Peppers and Love had a volatile relationship, and that she was afraid of him because of threats he'd made. 

Carol Peppers agrees when people ask why Jessika Peppers would go back to Love's house. 

"It's easy for them to say that, but I'd say pretty much everyone has been in a rough relationship at some point in their life. Things get emotional, things get out of hand, and you do whatever your emotions tell you to do," Carol Peppers said. 

Regardless, she believes her daughter did not deserve to die.

At the time of the shooting, Love had a warrant out for his arrest. Also, Love's mom had a restraining order out against him, one of the stipulations being that Love couldn't have a gun.

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said the restraining order didn't have anything to do with its decision not to press charges, and that it appears Jessika Peppers broke into Love's home, giving him the right to protect himself.

"We're taking the word of a man who has a criminal history whose own mother had to file a restraining order against him because she felt threatened, and we're taking his word?" Carol Peppers cried.  

She said the prosecutor's reasoning for letting Love walk free is just not good enough. 

"My daughter is the only one that can tell that side of the story, and she's not here to do that. Which is why I'm having to put myself out there," Carol Peppers said. 

The prosecutor's office said it's reviewing whether Love violated a law by possessing the shotgun that killed Jessika Peppers. 

Carol Peppers said her daughter was very athletic when she was younger and loved fishing. Jessika Peppers always had her hair dyed a bright color, a reflection of her goofy personality. 

Carol Peppers is raising one of her daughter’s kids. The holidays won't be easy this year, especially because Jessika Peppers would have turned 33 two days after Christmas.

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