Crime

KC man sentenced for 2017 home invasion where Independence officer was shot

Surveillance video shows robbery that led to Independence officer shooting

Video footage from Michael Nilson's home security system captured the robbery that led to an Independence police officer being shot.
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Video footage from Michael Nilson's home security system captured the robbery that led to an Independence police officer being shot.

A 30-year-old Kansas City man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a 2017 robbery that ended with an Independence police officer getting shot, according to a news release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Ronar Santiago-Torres pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, kidnapping and armed criminal action in connection to the home invasion on March 29, 2017, the prosecutor’s office said. He was set to stand trial Sept. 16 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors alleged that Santiago-Torres, with another defendant, had forced their way into the home, beat an 82-year-old resident, restrained him and held him a gunpoint, demanding that he open his safe.

A friend of the victim called police as the robbery was occurring.

Officer Thomas Wagstaff was one the Independence police officers who responded to the home in the 3600 block of South Delaware Avenue. Wagstaff survived a gunshot wound to the head, which authorities later said was from “friendly fire.”

As officers were arriving, the suspects took the victim’s vehicle and fled the scene, crashing through the closed garage door.

Santiago-Torres was one of four men charged in the case.

Joseph E. Wyatt, who also took part in a home invasion, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in February after he was found guilty by a judge of eight felony counts, including kidnapping and robbery.

Donald E. Nussbaum pleaded guilty in July to first-degree robbery and armed criminal action for his involvement. A sentencing hearing is set Sept. 17.

In February, James McChan pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and armed criminal action. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25.

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How we did this story

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office issued a news release Thursday, announcing the prison sentence handed down to the defendant, Ronar Santiago-Torres. The prosecutor’s office said he was sentenced after pleading guilty to multiple felonies.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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