A Lee’s Summit man is facing numerous charges, accused of shooting at a car carrying a married couple and two small children Saturday before wrecking his own truck.
Alex M. Latta, 21, was taken to a hospital in police custody Saturday after he and a passenger were injured in a wreck that left drugs and guns strewn around the roadside, according to court records.
Jackson County prosecutors have charged Latta with assault, two counts of armed criminal action, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of an illegal weapon, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and marijuana possession. According to court documents, Latta is accused of shooting at the family’s car in an incident that one witness said may have begun with a dispute over marijuana.
Police were called to the scene of the wreck about 4 p.m. Saturday near Northwest Murray and Northwest O’Brien roads, where they found a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado lying on its roof in the grass by the intersection. Officers found two guns, including a sawed-off shotgun, and three bags of marijuana in and around the truck.
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Latta and a passenger were injured, and were taken to a hospital in police custody.
A motorist parked nearby told police that he had been in a conflict with Latta just before the wreck, and that Latta had shot at his car, according to court records.
The man told police he had been driving with his wife and two children — aged 13 months and 27 months — at a nearby apartment complex when Latta’s truck bumped his car and drove away without stopping. The man said he pursued, trying to get Latta to stop and exchange insurance information.
During the chase, the man said, he shouted at Latta to pull over and Latta used a black handgun to shoot the front tire of the man’s car. Shortly after, the truck began to weave erratically and flipped over.
Later, the injured passenger in Latta’s truck told police he and Latta had met the family in the parking lot of the apartment complex, where the motorist approached Latta with a bag of marijuana. The passenger said Latta grabbed the marijuana away from the man and drove away without paying for it, beginning the chase.
The passenger said he thought the truck flipped because the other car rammed it. He also thought Latta and the motorist had had dealings in the past.
Latta told police he had tried to flee because he thought the car following him carried people who were out to kill him for testifying in a court case.
Witnesses in the area told police they heard shots before the truck crashed.
At the scene of the wreck, police found a loaded 12-gauge sawed-off shotgun, a loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun and two loaded magazines. They also found a spent .40-caliber shell casing and a spent shotgun shell, three bags of what police identified as marijuana totaling about 350 grams, a digital scale and plastic bags, among other items.
Latta had previous felony convictions for drug possession, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to court records. As a convicted felon, it would have been illegal for him to possess firearms.
Latta was in custody at the Jackson County jail Monday on $150,000 bond.