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JCPAO Press Releases

Posted on: April 10, 2023

Jackson County jury finds Shawnee, Kan., man guilty in shooting at Independence police

For Immediate Release
April 10, 2023

A Jackson County jury convicted today a Shawnee, Kan., man for fleeing from Independence, Mo., police officers while firing multiple shots at the officers, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

The jury convicted James L. Gant, dob: 10/7/1997, of Unlawful Use of a Weapon -- Shooting At/From a Motor Vehilcle, two counts of Assault 2nd Degree and three counts of Armed Criminal Action.*

According to court records, on Oct. 12, 2022, Kansas City police officers were dispatched to Interstates 70 and 435 to assist Independence Police Department officers who were pursuing a vehlce when multiple shots were fired. Both officers told Kansas City police detectives that they feared for their lives.

Independence Police Chief Adam Dustman issued this statement, "Today we saw justice for actions inconsistent with our common values and the safety of our community. The men and women of IPD would like to thank the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the jury for their diligent work in proving that shooting at police officers will not be tolerated."

Baker stated: "We are grateful for this outcome from the jury, which provided guilty verdicts on all charges. This case should be a testimonial that our community and my office will not stand idle while police officers' lives are placed at risk. The officers in this case were repeatedly shot at while attempting to stop the suspect vehicle. These did not return fire but instead took every step possible to bring this incident to a close without any loss of life. We will ask the court to impose a prison sentence commensurate with the damage caused."

The defendant will be sentenced on June 23, 2023, at 9 a.m. Two co-defendants await trial.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Dion Sankar, Theresa Crayon and Aleks Holiman prosecuted the case on behalf of the state of Missouri.

For more information, contact:

Michael Mansur, Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954

Charging Document(s)
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