The suspect in the Northland shooting spree that took the life of a Zona Rosa business owner has been charged with murder in Platte County, and a slew of other crimes in two other Kansas City counties.
Russell James Fisk, 30, died of a gunshot wound Friday, May 11 at about NW Barry Road and Marston Avenue, near the Savers thrift store. Kansas City Police responded at about 8 p.m. to an injury accident where a vehicle crashed into a light pole and found Fisk dead of a gunshot wound to the head. He was the owner of Black Card Tattoo Collective, located at 8677 N. Winter Avenue inside the Zona Rosa shopping district.
Within hours, two more shootings were reported in the Northland, both within Clay County just a few miles from the Barry Road shooting. Though injured, both victims survived the attacks.
On Tuesday, May 15, a silver Dodge Neon was found in a creek behind a home in southern Jackson County, and shortly thereafter a suspect was in custody. Arnoldo Pompa-Rascon, 41, who was transferred from Clay County custody to the Platte County Detention Center on Tuesday, has been charged with both Clay County shootings and first-degree murder in Fisk’s death. He is also facing burglary, firearms and vehicular tampering charges in Jackson County.
Platte County prosecuting attorney Eric Zahnd held a press conference to announce the murder charge had been filed on Monday, May 21.
“There was tremendous work by the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department,” Zahnd said. “They worked multiple crime scenes. It was a lot to pull together and it is still nowhere near over. The investigation is still ongoing.”
According to court documents, Rascon was spotted at about 3 p.m. that Friday afternoon in a neighborhood near East 100th Terrace in Jackson County. Neighbors saw him park near a home, vanish behind it and then reappear. Photos of the silver Dodge Neon, with expired New Mexico license plates, were taken by neighbors. The homeowner later discovered the back sliding door open and two handguns, along with ammunition, missing from the home.
Within a few hours, the silver Neon was spotted on Barry Road by a witness as well as a Kansas City traffic camera. The witness, a nurse, saw the Neon driving alongside Fisk’s BMW i8, heard a popping noise, and saw Fisk’s vehicle swerve off the roadway to the south and strike the light pole. The witness called police and checked Fisk for a pulse. According to media reports, the witness stayed with Fisk and held his hand until police arrived.
A memorial has been erected at the murder site, and Fisk’s business, Black Card Tattoo Collective, closed for a week to mourn his death. A cruise in Fisk’s honor featuring 300 exotic cars started at Zona Rosa and traveled down Barry Road past the site on Friday, May 18. A GoFundMe campaign to assist the shop has been organized and has raised more than $4,200 as of press time.
Born in Iowa, Fisk lived in Coal Valley, Ill. and Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., where he worked at Bad Donkey Tattoo before he relocated to Kansas City and opened Black Card Tattoo. He was buried Friday, May 18 in Orion, Ill. Donations in his name may be made to any food bank in the Quad Cities, Kansas City or Lake of the Ozarks.
At the press conference, Zahnd said during his conversations with Fisk’s family they expressed their “deep appreciation for the outpouring of love and support they have received from Russ’s many friends in Kansas City, Lake of the Ozarks and the Quad Cities area in Illinois.”
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Rascon has been charged with armed criminal action in Platte County after a grand jury indictment was filed on Friday, May 18. He will appear before Platte County Circuit Court judge James Van Amburg on Thursday, June 7 and is being held in lieu of a $1 million cash-only bond.
First-degree murder carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, but Zahnd has not ruled out seeking the death penalty in the case.
“It is far too early to decide that,” Zahnd said. “It is an important decision to make and not rush into it.”
In Clay County, Rascon is charged with first-degree assault, two counts of criminal action and unlawful discharge of a firearm. Shortly after Fisk’s death, a man riding his motorcycle on North Oak Trafficway at Northwest 102nd Street was shot in the hand. Several shots were fired at him as he drove away. The 31-year-old victim said he, too, saw a silver Dodge Neon before he heard a pop. Police later located two 9 mm bullet casings in the roadway. The victim was treated and released, but later underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his hand.
A half hour later, Rascon pulled up to a home near Northwest 111th and North Campbell Street, in the silver Neon and asked a question of the 27-year-old homeowner. The two briefly spoke, but the victim said Rascon spoke mostly Spanish and he apologized for being unable to help him. As he turned back toward his home, the victim was shot in the chest but was able to return fire at the vehicle. He was treated and released, and later identified Rascon from a police lineup.
After ditching his silver Neon in the early morning hours of May 15, Rascon allegedly attempted to steal another vehicle in the area of Highway 150 in Jackson County. The homeowner found Rascon rifling through his truck and held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived.
A 9 mm Glock handgun was found in the Neon, and identified as the gun stolen early on May 11 and later used in the shootings on Barry and North Oak. The other stolen handgun, a loaded Walther 380, was found abandoned in a nearby driveway.
“Rascon stated voices tell him who to shoot, but he decides with his heart who is bad and who to shoot,” the Clay County statement of probable cause reads. “Rascon stated the gun won’t fire if they are good people.”
During an interview with police — where Rascon was provided a Spanish interpreter — the suspect admitted to committing the burglary, stealing the guns and using the Glock to shoot at a victim in a “luxurious car,” as well as the two victims in Clay County.
Police have identified Rascon as an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who has crossed the border illegally four times.
Zahnd said the reasons for Rascon’s previous deportations cannot be disclosed at this time. Rascon also has active traffic warrants from Kansas City, Kan.