Crime

Independence man charged with killing 46-year-old woman, injuring man in Northland

Kansas City police have identified a 46-year-old woman who was found dead Wednesday night in the Northland, and one person has been charged with murder following her death.

The victim, Rhonda C. Evans, was pronounced dead at the scene after police officers arrived in the 3900 block of North Kensington Avenue just after 11 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a report of a shooting. Evans had multiple gunshot wounds, including one wound to the back of her head, court records said.

When officers arrived, they also found a 58-year-old man who was shot in the head. The victim was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Kansas City police investigated the fatal shooting as a homicide.

On Friday, the Clay County prosecutor’s office announced that it filed charges against Thomas W. Farris Jr., 38, of Independence, in connection to the shooting. Farris was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of armed criminal action. Bond was set at $1 million.

According to a probable cause statement filed Friday, officers found Evans’ body inside a bedroom. Neighbors told officers that an injured male was knocking on doors to get help, and said he was unable to speak due to gunshot trauma. Court records said Evans was the male victim’s girlfriend.

Six shell casings with Federal .45 Auto head stamps were found within the home close to where Evans and her boyfriend were shot, court records said.

A witness told police that she had received text messages at 10:39 p.m. Thursday from Farris which were sent from Evans’ cellphone. In the texts, Farris told the witness he was at the victim’s residence.

The probable cause statement also said Farris sold a loaded IWI Desert Eagle .45 caliber handgun to someone for $300. Court records said the head stamp of the live round in the gun was also identified as Federal .45 Auto. Police believe the .45 auto cartridges recovered from the homicide scene were fired from the Desert Eagle handgun Farris sold.

Farris was arrested in Independence on Thursday night on an outstanding warrant and taken to the Jackson County Detention Center. When he was taken into custody, police said he had with him a black Kyocera cellphone and four $100 bills. Three of the $100 bills were allegedly the same bills given to Farris for the sale of the handgun.

In an interview with police Friday, court records said Farris admitted to being at the scene of the shooting when it happened but he denied being in possession of a weapon.

Court records also noted that Farris has been convicted in Missouri in the past for stealing, burglary, tampering with a vehicle, resisting arrest, drug possession and two cases of felony domestic assault.

The investigation of the fatal shooting is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS hotline 816-474-8477.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 816-234-7909, @kaitlynschwers

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