Two area high school students have been charged with first-degree murder in the Monday, May 8 shooting death of another teenager. The homicide occurred in a neighborhood near Zona Rosa and Park Hill High School.
Officials have identified the victim as 18-year-old Timothy Durden, who attended Park Hill High School until February according to a report from The Kansas City Star.
Court documents show that Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department officers reported to calls of a shooting incident at around 5:30 p.m. at a home in the 8600 block of North Rhode Avenue in a neighborhood just west of Zona Rosa and north of the high school. Durden was located near the back deck of the home with multiple gunshot wounds, and he was transported to an area hospital.
Durden later died from his injuries.
Late Tuesday night, the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office filed felony charges of murder, armed criminal action and distribution of drugs in a protected area against 17-year-old Dominic Pineda, listed as a candidate for graduation at Park Hill High School. The following day, the same three charges were leveled against 17-year-old Keith Spencer, who had been a senior at Platte County High School.
The incident appears to be the result of a drug deal gone bad.
According to court documents, Pineda sold marijuana from his house on North Rhode Avenue, and on Monday, he received a SnapChat message from an unknown male named “King” offering to buy 2 ounces for $500 per ounce. The amount seemed high according to Pineda, so he armed himself and two friends with guns, according to court documents.
Spencer was given a rifle belonging to Pineda’s father.
Four men arrived to the residence in a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo, according to court documents, but only Durden and another unidentified black man entered the residence. According to Pineda, the victim allegedly had pulled a gun and loaded a round into the firearm, pointing it at one of the men inside the house.
According to court documents, Pineda pulled his gun and fired five times, saying he feared for his life. He did not know if anyone else fired a weapon at the victim.
The unknown black male fled the house and went back to the red Monte Carlo. Pineda said he went out back and hid under his porch until the victim stumbled outside the back door.
Pineda allegedly went back into the house with the rifle Keith had been carrying and cleared the house before going back outside and finding the victim injured but still alive in the backyard. He then told the two friends to leave.
The second friend inside the house at the time of the shooting suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left knee. He claimed only to be at the house to smoke marijuana but corroborated Pineda’s story when interviewed.
According to court documents, Spencer originally denied having or firing a gun but later told authorities he shot the rifle twice at the wall. “It was all just a drug deal for Dominic,” he allegedly told his father in a recorded phone call made from jail.
Pineda and Spencer remain in custody at the Jackson County Detention Center in lieu of $350,000 cash-only bonds.