Just before he stole a black Nissan from its driver in Independence on Tuesday afternoon, a carjacker who later would be killed by Independence police had noticed another black car.
He walked into a dental office managed by Pamela Anderson and asked about it.
“He said, ‘Who owns the black Benz in the parking lot?’” said Anderson, who runs the office of Independence dentist John Snow at 17700 E. Susquehanna Ridge.
The man soon left, prompting a nervous Anderson to lock the office doors.
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“I was very lucky,” Anderson recalled Wednesday.
Authorities on Wednesday identified the carjacker killed Tuesday by Independence police in Sugar Creek as Nicholas E. Booth, 35, of Ozark, Mo.
Booth, who once lived in Riverside, jumped into a man’s car Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of U.S. 24 and East Susquehanna Ridge about 2:15 p.m., according to police. Booth displayed a handgun to the driver, who escaped.
At some point Booth drove the black Nissan north on Missouri 291, where an Independence police officer noticed the car.
A pursuit ensued, with Booth eventually driving into Sugar Creek before stopping inside an industrial park off North River Boulevard. He got out of the car and shot at the Independence officer, according to police.
The officer returned fire, striking Booth, who died at the scene.
Anderson had not recognized the man when he walked into her dental office about 45 minutes before and asked her about the owner of the black Mercedes-Benz.
“I asked why he wanted to know and he said, ‘Because he shot at my house,’” she said.
Booth then walked out after making a comment Anderson said she couldn’t hear clearly.
“He was real nervous, real jittery-acting,” she said.
“I walked to the back of the building to lock the back door.”
Booth found the black Nissan waiting at a nearby stop sign.
He had been in and out of prison since the late 1990s, according to state correctional records.
In 1999, Booth, then a Riverside resident, pleaded guilty in Clay County to stealing more than $750, a felony. He received a four-year prison sentence.
In 2003, he pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary in Clinton County. The following year he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a controlled substance in Clay County.
Although correctional officials had released him to parole authorities several times in recent years, Booth often was returned to state custody after violating probation or parole. Authorities last discharged him from parole in February 2013.
The Independence officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave as police officials complete reviews of the carjacking, the pursuit and the shooting, said Tom Gentry, Independence police spokesman.