Crime

Relatives await release of video in man’s fatal shooting by deputy at Raytown Wal-Mart

The Jackson County sheriff’s office identified Donald Sneed III as the man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy Sunday. This family photo shows Sneed with his daughter.
The Jackson County sheriff’s office identified Donald Sneed III as the man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy Sunday. This family photo shows Sneed with his daughter.

A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy’s fatal shooting of an accused shoplifter Sunday night at a Raytown Wal-Mart was captured by store security cameras and remains under investigation, according to authorities.

The video has not been released pending the sheriff’s office investigation into the shooting of Donald Sneed III, 31, who died following a struggle with the deputy outside the front doors of the store at 10300 E. U.S. 350.

The deputy was working off-duty security at the store and was trying to help store employees who had stopped Sneed for allegedly shoplifting when Sneed disarmed the deputy of her stun gun and shocked her in the neck with it, according to Sgt. John Payne, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The deputy shot Sneed to protect herself and others in the store, Payne said in a statement.

Following the investigation, the case will be submitted to the Jackson County prosecutor’s office for a decision on whether charges should be filed.

Sneed’s relatives have said they are eager for more information about the shooting, and about how the alleged theft turned into a deadly physical confrontation.

The sheriff’s office has declined to say how many shots were fired, how many times Sneed was hit, what Sneed was accused of shoplifting or how long the deputy has been on the force.

Sneed’s wife, Rachel Sneed, said she was shocked at Sneed’s death but also knew he had been in trouble recently. At the time of the shooting, Sneed was wanted for felony arrest warrants on charges of robbery and tampering with a motor vehicle.

The couple had a 10-year-old daughter and had been separated for some time while Sneed struggled with substance abuse problems and spent time in Colorado and Florida.

Sneed, a carpenter by trade, had also been a parent to Rachel Sneed’s three children from a previous relationship.

“They are pretty shook up,” Rachel Sneed said of the children.

“He was really good with kids,” she said. “He was actually a really good person once upon a time. He was very, very sweet. He loved to make people laugh. He would carry an older lady’s groceries to her car at the store. He just went down the wrong road.”

Sneed had been an accomplished athlete and had earned a black belt in taekwondo, Rachel Sneed said.

“He was trying to get his life back,” she said. “He was trying to put himself back together for his daughter, he really was.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the incident at the Wal-Mart began shortly before 10 p.m. when the deputy recognized Sneed as being wanted on arrest warrants. She alerted store employees, who allegedly watched Sneed shoplift some merchandise.

Two store employees contacted Sneed as he exited the store, and a struggle ensued.

The deputy began to help the employees, and Sneed reportedly fought with the deputy. The deputy discharged her stun gun at Sneed, but to no effect.

Then Sneed allegedly took the stun gun away from the deputy and used it on her. The deputy shot Sneed with her duty weapon.

Emergency medical personnel arrived and rendered aid to both Sneed and the deputy.

The deputy was treated at a hospital and released. The sheriff’s office has not described her injuries.

The deputy will be on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation by the sheriff’s office criminal investigations unit.

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