Charges Filed In Tuesday's South Kansas City Triple Homicide | KCUR

Charges Filed In Tuesday's South Kansas City Triple Homicide

Sep 3, 2014

Kansas City, Mo., Police Deputy Chief Randy Hopkins, left, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Mayor Sly James speak at a press conference to announce charges against Brandon B. Howell, 34, in Tuesday's triple homicide.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCur

Update, 3:24 p.m. Wednesday: 

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has announced three first degree murder charges against Brandon B. Howell, 34, in Tuesday's triple homicide.

Peters Baker also charged Howell with two counts of assault in the first degree for causing serious injury to George and Anna Taylor.

Howell faces four additional counts of armed criminal action, one count of burglary in the first degree, one count of stealing a motor vehicle and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Peters Baker says the shotgun used in Tuesday's shootings may have been obtained prior to an earlier felony conviction in Kansas.

"I charged him with felon in possession of a firearm because he is a felon and he should not have had a firearm," says Peters Baker. "Did law enforcement go door to door to check under his pillow or his bed for firearms? Probably not."

Howell was previously acquitted in Jackson County of the 1998 killings of two Kansas teenagers, Tabitha Brewer and Nick Travis. Peters Baker says she has been in contact with both of their families today.

Mayor Sly James called earlier efforts to prosecute Howell "valiant."

"They made every effort based on the fact they knew this was a bad actor to prosecute this individual and he was acquitted," says James. "They did everything they could, but in a circumstance like that, you have to have almost overwhelming evidence, and that evidence simply wasn't there."

James praised the efforts of Kansas City Police, who apprehended Howell within 12 hours of the Tuesday afternoon shooting.

"We in this city simply cannot allow criminals to walk around and terrorize us," he says.

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Kansas City Police say all three victims in a shooting Tuesday afternoon lived on Woodbridge Lane in South Kansas City.

They are Darryl Hurst, 63; Lorene Hurst, 88; and Susan Choucroun, 69.

Police continue to investigate the triple homicide, during which two other people were critically injured and taken to the hospital.

The murders may be connected to an assault later Tuesday at a northland Motel 6, 8230 N.W. Prairie View Road, which is close to where one of the shooting victim's stolen car was found.

Police arrested a man shortly after midnight Wednesday morning in connection to the motel attacks. They say he walking along southbound I-29 and carrying a gun at the time of his arrest, though any link to the murders is still being investigated.

The Hurst family has released a statement to Channel 41 asking for privacy after the deaths of two family members.

An answering machine at the Leawood salon Susan Choucroun's husband, Charles, owns says the shop will be closed until next week following Susan's death.

For more information, see our earlier post.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Lorene Hurst as Alice L. Hurst.