Jackson County prosecutors on Tuesday accused an 18-year-old man in the shooting death of a Lee’s Summit father who had been trying to sell a gun in the parking lot of an east Kansas City shopping center.
Fazon K. Swinton of Kansas City faces a second-degree murder charge in the slaying of Jacob A. Brantner on April 3 in the 8700 block of East 63rd Street. Swinton made arrangements to purchase a handgun from Brantner, then tried to steal it instead, prosecutors allege.
According to court records, investigators connected Swinton to the shooting through a cellphone and text messages exchanged before the incident.
The two agreed to meet at the parking lot outside the store. Swinton tried take the handgun from Brantner without paying for it.
The two wrestled over the gun before Swinton grabbed it and ran.
Both Brantner and Swinton pulled handguns and fired at each other. One bullet struck Brantner, killing him. Swinton later went to a hospital for treatment of a bullet wound.
Investigators recovered video surveillance of the incident. Swinton is seen in the video getting into the front seat of a blue, four-door Ford 500 with a sunroof.
Police found a black cellphone in Brantner’s shirt pocket. The cellphone contained several text messages between Brantner and Swinton arranging the meeting.
Authorities also located text messages Swinton sent to a woman seeking a ride to the store to do a “lash,” which is street language for engaging in an illegal activity.
Swinton later told investigators that he was shot that day while playing a game of pickup basketball in Kansas City, Kan.
Brantner’s wife, Kim Brantner, declined to comment about the criminal charges.
A memorial fund raised more than $19,000 to help defray family expenses.
Brantner, who had ties to the racing community, owned a vehicle fabrication business in Lee’s Summit.
According to his company’s website, Brantner started his business about 15 years ago. He set up shop inside his family’s two-car garage for eight years and recently opened a shop in Lee’s Summit. The fabrication company, according to the website, offered simple to exotic machining and welding to complete race car construction.