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Man charged with murder in May mass shooting at Kansas City nightclub

Klymax Lounge, at Indiana Avenue and E. 43rd Street in Kansas City, was the site of a shooting that left three people dead and two others injured on May 21, 2023.
Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3
Klymax Lounge, at Indiana Avenue and E. 43rd Street in Kansas City, was the site of a shooting that left three people dead and two others injured on May 21, 2023.

The county prosecutor’s office filed charges against Isiah Clinton for the shooting at Klymax Lounge that killed three.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office has filed charges in the May 21 Klymax Lounge shooting that killed three people and injured two more.

Isiah Clinton, 36, has been charged with three counts of murder in the first degree, three counts of armed criminal action and two counts of assault in the first degree. He is currently being held without bond. Investigators believe he was targeting Clarence Henderson, one of the three people killed. Baker said Clinton waited for Henderson to exit Klymax and then “gunned him down.”

“He is the individual that we believe had the motive of committing this crime, helped set it up, put it in motion and of course carried it out,” Baker said on Friday.

Sergeant Mark Slater, with the Kansas City Police Department’s homicide unit, said police believe other shooters were involved, and said the investigation is still ongoing.

Jason McConnell, 41, Antoinette Brenson, 24, and Clarence Henderson, 33, all died in the shooting. Two of the victims died at the scene, one died at a hospital.

Law enforcement said a cell phone at the scene and pants with gunshot residue gave investigators evidence on the shooter’s possible motive, as did statements provided by the surviving victims. Baker added that surveillance video from that night will help the ongoing investigation — Clinton's charging documents noted that nearby Sankofa Cafe's surveillance system recorded video around the time of the shooting, as did a nearby property owner's surveillance system.

“There is a lot of other physical evidence. I think that's sort of the recipe,” Baker said. “We can bring all of that together. Really, it's each piece of the puzzle that's needed here.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the proliferation of guns, combined with Missouri’s lax gun laws, are factors that contribute to shootings like the one at Klymax. Kansas City is unable to pass any local gun control regulations because of state law.

“I fully support cities having the ability to come up with responsible limits to gun access in any number of places,” Lucas said. "The community is awash in firearms, and largely firearms that are in places where people either are drinking or looking at retaliation or looking at any number of issues.”

Lucas added that the city is also working with the Regulated Industries Division, which oversees bars and nightclubs, to ensure club owners are complying with city liquor licensing laws and other rules.

“We are doubling down to make sure that we aren't just seeing the same situation again and again,” he said.

Chief Graves said there is a $25,000 reward through Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of the other suspects in the shooting. People with information can call the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (8477).

When news breaks, it can be easy to rely on officials and people in power to get information fast. As KCUR’s general assignment and breaking news reporter, I want to bring you the human faces of the day’s biggest stories. Whether it’s a local shop owner or a worker on the picket line, I want to give you the stories of the real people who are driving change in the Kansas City area. Email me at savannahhawley@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @savannahhawley.
As KCUR’s Missouri politics and government reporter, it’s my job to show how government touches every aspect of our lives. I break down political jargon so people can easily understand policies and how it affects them. My work is people-forward and centered on civic engagement and democracy. I hold political leaders and public officials accountable for the decisions they make and their impact on our communities. Follow me on Twitter @celisa_mia or email me at celisa@kcur.org.
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