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September 30, 2013

Tattoo artist arrested in fatal shooting at Independence motel

Jackson County prosecutors said Thomas R. Kuether, 30, was killed Sunday night in a room where people had gathered for tattoos. Vaughn L. Krepps, 37, has been charged with second-degree murder.

A homeless man was charged Monday in the Sunday night shooting death of another man in an Independence motel room where people had gathered for tattooing.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Vaughn L. Krepps, 37, with the second-degree murder of Thomas R. Kuether.

Kuether, 30, was shot once in the abdomen shortly before 7 p.m. at the Super 6 Plus at 4142 S. Noland Road, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

As many as eight people were in the room when the shooting occurred.

According to the court documents, witnesses told police that Krepps was there to do tattoo work on some of those present when he suddenly stood up, looked at Kuether, and asked, “What did you just say?”

According to the documents, Krepps then pulled out a chrome revolver and fired one shot at Kuether.

One woman told police detectives that she had just asked someone for a cigarette and Kuether said he had one. That was when Krepps asked the question of Kuether and then shot him, according to the documents.

Krepps fled on foot after the shooting. A short time later, police officers stopped him near 31st Street and Crysler Avenue. Officers said Krepps did not have a gun on him when he was arrested.

Bond was set at $150,000.

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