A 34-year-old Kansas man was charged in the shooting deaths of three people during a series of attacks that seriously injured two others in south Kansas City on Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Brandon Howell of Hutchinson, Kan., was charged with killing Darryl Hurst, Alice Hurst and Susan Choucroun in a spate of shootings near a Kansas City country club Tuesday afternoon, according to a criminal complaint made public Wednesday.
Howell had a prior conviction for aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault in Kansas and had been acquitted in the killings of two teenagers who disappeared from the area in the late 1990s, authorities said.
Two other victims, George and Anna Taylor, were seriously injured during the attacks and were "struggling for their lives" at area hospitals Wednesday afternoon, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker told reporters.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators believe Howell shot Choucroun on Woodbridge Lane around 12:50 p.m. and then assaulted the Taylors in the basement of a home. He is suspected of gunning down Darryl Hurst and his mother, Alice, moments later before fleeing the area in a Toyota Highlander that belonged to one of the victims.
Asked why Howell chose to target the upscale area of Kansas City, Peters Baker said, "We charged him with burglary in the first degree and we charged him with stealing from the victim's family."
Howell then fled to a Motel 6 in Platte County, roughly 30 miles away, where he allegedly assaulted three people around 4 p.m., according to the criminal complaint.
Police captured Howell shortly before midnight, when a 911 call about a suspicious person led them to the suspect, who was walking along the side of a highway carrying a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun.
The suspect will be held without bond, according to Peters Baker, who would not describe the attacks as a "crime spree."
"This is not a crime spree. This was an individual who committed heinous acts, and he is going to pay for his acts," she said during her news conference.