Crime

Couple charged with murder after three people found fatally shot in Kansas City

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office has charged a woman and a man with murder after three people were shot and killed in an east Kansas City neighborhood.

Lynnsey D. Jones, 35, and Victor Sykes, 43, are each charged with three counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection to the shooting, which was reported before 9 p.m. Thursday.

Kansas City police have identified the victims as Larry Barnes, 40; Brandy Jones, 38; and Larona Jones, 42.

Charging documents filed Friday indicate the shooting happened as a drug deal was taking place.

According to the court records, Kansas City police officers were on patrol in the area of East 45th Street and South Benton Avenue when they heard the sound of gunfire.

The officers then spotted two people in the street. One person, a woman, was seen entering a car and carrying what appeared to be a rifle.

Police arrested the woman, who was later identified as Jones. A gun was found inside the car.

The second person, a man, ran from the scene but was taken into custody after a short foot chase. The man, identified as Sykes, was wearing gloves and had what appeared to be blood and a laceration on his left hand and wrist, court records said.

As Jones and Sykes were detained, police officers found the body of a man in the 4500 block of South Benton Avenue. Rifle shell casings were found near him.

In the same area, officers also noticed that the front door of a home was open. A second victim was seen inside.

Officers entered the home and tried to render aid to the second victim, who was soon pronounced dead.

Police found a third deceased victim in the home. Court records note that the two victims had head injuries.

Court records state that numerous 5.56 caliber shell casings were found at the home. The Kansas City Police Department Firearm Laboratory later determined that the casings were fired from the gun recovered from the suspects’ car.

A witness told police he saw one of the victims get shot in the street. The witness said he heard gunshots, went outside and saw a man striking another man with his fist. He stated he heard the male suspect yell at a woman, “Shoot him baby, shoot him.” The witness said the woman then shot the victim several times. The man who was seen beating the victim was later determined to be the same man who ran from police, court records state.

In an interview with police, Jones stated she went to the home Thursday night to buy drugs. While waiting for the drugs, she said she entered the home and smoked marijuana with two other women. Afterward, she said she went back outside and saw two men in a “heated” conversation on the front porch.

Jones said at one point, one of the men shot the other and handed her the gun. She denied that her boyfriend, Sykes, was present at the scene. But when asked why Sykes was fighting, Jones replied, “I don’t know why.”

Later in the interview, Jones allegedly admitted to shooting and killing all three victims. When asked by police why she shot them, she replied, “Because I’m a bad person,” court records state.

Sykes told police he was walking with the male victim when he heard gunshots. He said he hid behind a vehicle. When he saw officers taking Jones into custody, he said he tried to run away. He denied any involvement in the killings.

Court records note that Sykes was on parole for murder at the time of the shooting. Online prison records show he was convicted in Wyandotte County of second-degree murder in 1993 and sentenced to serve time in the Kansas Department of Corrections. He was granted out-of-state parole in Missouri last October.

Sykes and Jones remain in custody. Their bond amounts have been set at $500,000 cash. A court date has not been set. Attorneys for Sykes and Jones have not yet been listed in public records.

In a statement, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said that “quick thinking and action” of the officers allowed the suspects to be arrested and charged.

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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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