BELTON AUTO LOT EMPLOYEE SHOT TO DEATH; SUSPECT HELD

Updated: Apr 20

By Allen Edmonds allen@northcassherald.com

A 21-year-old Kansas City man is being held on charges of second degree murder and armed criminal action following the shooting death of 28-year-old Kyle Wanner of Belton at the Show Me Auto Mall, located in the 1400 block of East North Avenue, Belton, Thursday morning. Edward Cornejo-Juarez was lingering outside the locked front door of the dealership when police arrived on the scene after dispatchers received a 911 call from inside at 10:43 a.m., reporting the shooting.

NCH photo/Allen Edmonds

Cornejo-Juarez is currently being held in the Cass County Jail on $250,000 cash only bond. Arraignment is set before Associate Circuit Judge Mike Rumley at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. According to a probable cause statement, witnesses inside the dealership told officers the suspect had walked in the service entrance of the dealership and walked from one area to another, telling witnesses he was looking for something.

Edward Cornejo-Juarez

Eventually, according to surveillance video officers studied, the suspect encountered the victim and engaged in a brief conversation before the suspect exited the building through the rear entrance, followed by the victim.

A short time later, the suspect re-entered the building and squatted down just inside alone, as if thinking about something. After sitting cross-legged on the floor for a period of time, he stood up and walked toward the service desk counter, retrieved a black handgun from his right front pants pocket and left the gun on the counter.

He then, according to the report, walked out the service desk area door which led to the showroom.

While this was going on, a witness in the dealership walked out the rear door, appeared to observe the victim’s body, and called 911.

The suspect then walked out the front door of the dealership while the first witness yelled to the front to others to lock the doors.

Another witness then used a cloth to retrieve the gun and place it in a file cabinet. Officers encountered the suspect in front of the building when they arrived. After searching him for firearms, he said, “yeah, I’m sorry,” when asked if he knew about a shooting.

He told officers he “owned” the dealership, but was unable to identify any of the employees, before telling officers he had been hit with a paint brush inside the dealership and had fallen. He then told officers the victim had “punched” him outside the back door, but no evidence of an assault could be found. Eventually, he said admitted that he “pulled” the weapon, but said he did not fire it.

Finally, he told officers that he thought the victim was going to come after him, so he shot him, saying it was in self-defense.

Under further examination, the suspect said the victim did not have anything in his hands when he “came at him.”

“He said ‘no’ that was his mistake and what he did wrong,” the probable cause report read. “I asked him what made him feel threatened since the victim did not have anything in his hands. He did not give me an answer and said he just wanted to go home.”

He told officers he did not know the victim at all, that he “was just a stranger.” Eventually, he told officers “I did kill him,” according to the report.

The suspect told officers he had smoked a “weed strain of D2” prior to arriving at the dealership.

“He said he believed it was synthetic marijuana he got from ‘a snake.’ He said he smoked it at home that morning before he went to the shop and it made him trip,” the report said.

“He said he was tripping that morning and his roommate told him he should have stayed at home.”

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