Clay County authorities have charged a 25-year-old man in the fatal shooting of an autoworker during a shift change early Thursday in the parking lot of the Ford Claycomo plant.
Deonte T. Buffington-Hardy of Kansas City, North, was also charged Friday in Clay County Circuit Court with armed criminal action when he allegedly shot Brandon G. Nunnally three times. Nunnally died at the scene.
Several witnesses were present but none of them were injured. Buffington-Hardy is not a Ford employee.
Bond has been set at $1 million.
According to court records:
Investigators obtained surveillance video from the plant around the time of the shooting. The video showed a dark-colored Jeep pull into the north parking lot about 3:15 a.m. Later that Thursday morning, the Jeep followed a person walking in the parking lot and was then recorded going south on U.S. 69.
One witness parked next to Nunnally’s vehicle told investigators that he saw Nunnally talking with a man. Nunnally had on a previous occasion introduced the man as his best friend. The witness said he heard a gunshot and saw Nunnally sprawled on the pavement. The man stood over Nunnally and shot him in the torso and then the head, the witness said. The gunman then drove away.
Other witnesses reported seeing a dark-colored vehicle at the shooting.
Investigators traced the Jeep to a residence in Kansas City, North. They followed Buffington-Hardy after he got into the vehicle and drove away. Buffington-Hardy was arrested a short time later. Investigators say he was armed with a .40-caliber Glock pistol that was loaded with live rounds. Ammunition in the firearm was consistent with the shell casings recovered at the crime scene.
Buffington-Hardy told detectives that he did not know Nunnally and denied knowing anything about Nunnally being shot.
Buffington-Hardy’s wife told investigators that she went to sleep Wednesday and woke up around 4:30 a.m. Thursday and saw her husband fully dressed, sitting on their bed.
She told detectives that her husband and Nunnally were good friends and at times Nunnally brought his children over to play with their kids. She also told investigators that Buffington-Hardy had been home all evening.