Crime

'He took off,' suspect tells police after Gladstone fatal shooting

Franklin G. Liles, 32, of Kansas City
Franklin G. Liles, 32, of Kansas City Clay County Jail

Prosecutors charged a 32-year-old Kansas City man Friday with murder six days after a man was found shot inside a wrecked SUV in Gladstone.

The Clay County Prosecuting Attorney's office announced Friday that it charged Franklin G. Liles with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of armed criminal action.

The victim, Paulus T. Fermin, was found shot inside a 2007 Toyota Highlander at the intersection of Northeast 64th Street and North Broadway Avenue before 11:30 p.m. on March 17. Police said Fermin, 28, was sitting in the driver's seat when he was shot in the back of the head. He was taken to a hospital but died the next day.

According to a probable cause statement, police found two store receipts inside Fermin's vehicle. One of the receipts, dated March 17, was from a CVS on North Oak Trafficway in Kansas City.

Surveillance video from CVS on that day showed Fermin with two men, including Liles.

The other man told police that he, Fermin, Liles and two others were hanging out at a house when Fermin told the group he had a family emergency and had to leave.

The man said he believed Fermin stole his backpack. The backpack, according to the man, contained clothing stolen from a Gordmans, methamphetamine and his Hi-Point .380 caliber gun. He said the group left together in a vehicle to look for Fermin.

The man told police they caught up to Fermin on North Broadway, and said Liles yelled at Fermin to pull over. Instead, Fermin sped up, the man said, and Liles allegedly shot twice in the direction of Fermin's vehicle.

The man said they stopped their vehicle to check on Fermin, and Liles fled the scene on foot with a .45 caliber handgun.

Police said two spent .45 caliber casings matching the bullets found in Liles' gun were found at the scene.

Liles initially told detectives he didn't know anything about Fermin's death, but in a second interview March 20, police said Liles admitted to firing shots toward Fermin that night but said he didn't mean to kill him.

Police said Liles stated: “He took off; he wouldn’t stop."

Liles was booked into the Clay County jail Friday with bond set at $1 million.

A court date has not yet been scheduled in the case.

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