For Immediate Release
Oct. 18, 2016
A 39-year-old Independence man, who was arrested today in South Dakota, faces a murder charge in the fatal shooting on Sunday of 22-year-old Whitney Gray in Independence, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
Christopher P. Taylor, dob: 8/6/1977, faces Murder 2nd Degree and Armed Criminal Action charges.*
"The Independence Police Department and our community deserve praise for working together to bring this suspect to justice," Baker said. "Our community has shown again it will not tolerate such senseless violence."
According to court records filed today, Independence police officers responded to the shooting in the 1600 block of Sterling on Sunday, about 7:40 p.m. The victim had suffered a gunshot to the chest while driving her minivan north on Sterling, near Winner Road. She was shot by Taylor from his moving vehicle, apparently due to road rage. Multiple witnesses reported seeing the road rage incident. The victim was driving and Taylor was following her closely. He reportedly tried to pass her, nearly causing an accident. At Winner Road, witnesses reported seeing a drink or liquid thrown from her vehicle onto Taylor's SUV. Then a loud "pop" was heard. Taylor continued driving on north. Independence detectives recovered surveillance video of the victim's vehicle being followed by a large white SUV. Witnesses told police that Taylor's vehicle may have been involved after they watched TV news. Taylor uncharacteristically did not show up for work on Monday, according to his boss. Family members said they became more suspicious that Taylor was involved in the Sunday shooting after it appeared he had packed up many of his belongings and left his home. A car dealer helped police track Taylor's white Toyota Sequoia to a hotel in Box Elder, SD.
Taylor was taken into custody in South Dakota early today.
Prosecutors have requested a bond of $100,000 cash.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.