Boyfriend killed while girlfriend listens on phone; murder charge filed

Rodreko V. Jennings
Rodreko V. Jennings Kansas City Police Department

Michael J. Hooker's girlfriend had her phone to her ear, listening as his argument with another man turned loud and then violent.

She heard four or five gunshots, court records said.

"Hello? Hello?" she said into the phone. But no one answered.

Prosecutors charged 39-year-old Rodreko V. Jennings with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting of Hooker, 30, who died in a home in the 2800 block of Kensington Avenue on Saturday.

According to police, Jennings and another man came to the house around 5:30 p.m. Witnesses said Jennings began arguing with Hooker over another female.

They said Hooker got his phone out — he was apparently receiving a call from his girlfriend — and wanted to show the phone to Jennings. The girlfriend told police she called to ask Hooker to join her at a restaurant. But when he answered, she said, all she could hear was the argument underway.

She heard Hooker say, "If you have a problem with me then tell me you have a problem with me."

That's when witnesses said Jennings fired several gunshots.

The girlfriend heard someone say an ambulance was called. Hooker never did speak to her.

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Jennings left the house, and that night police asked the public for help locating him.

Jennings was arrested Monday near 23rd Street and Crysler Avenue in Independence.

He denied to police that he was at the Kensington address and said people are lying about him.

Jennings is being held on $250,000 bond.