Off-duty firefighter Anthony “Tony” Santi was fatally shot at a gas station in Independence, Missouri on Oct. 6. Authorities have not released the name of the shooter, but on Oct. 18, Jackson County prosecutors said she will not face charges because she acted in self-defense.
On the day of the incident, Santi overheard Ja’Von Taylor arguing with a female gas station employee. The firefighter intervened, causing the two men to begin fussing. Their argument spilled outside the building, where the verbal disagreement turned physical in the parking lot. As the two fought, Taylor pulled out a gun, but the weapon fell during the scuffle. According to local news station FOX4KC, a woman with Taylor picked up the gun and begged the men to stop fighting.
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A Kansas City woman has been set free of charges tonight after protecting her boyfriend in a fight with a firefighter. The young lady seconds later killed the firefighter which has now been declared as self defense. ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/tuxV15oTC1
— KC Discover (@KcDiscover) October 19, 2022
A bystander recorded footage of the altercation. In the video, the woman desperately asked them both to stop as she held the firearm. Santi had Taylor pinned to the ground as the woman yelled for the firefighter to let Taylor go. “Stop sir, stop,” she frantically yelled. “Get off! My kids [are] in the car! Stop, [you’re] killing him,” she continued to scream. Witnesses say the fight may have lasted around 10 minutes. After repeatedly asking Santi to stop fighting with Taylor, the woman threatened to use the gun to shoot. Eventually, she did.
Kevin Jamison, an attorney and author of “Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law,” agrees that the woman’s actions against the firefighter were warranted. He told FOX4KC, “Technically, it’s called the defense of justification and your justification is you are saving the life of another person.” He added, “The girlfriend is only constrained by what she reasonably believed to be the circumstances. If she didn’t see the start of the fight, all she knows is her boyfriend is getting strangled.”
Earlier this week, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement saying, “We grieve with the family and community over this tragic loss of life of Mr. Santi.” While the woman has been cleared in the case, Taylor could receive a weapons charge.