Lawsuit links Tom Pickert's murder to owner of the vehicle polic - KCTV5

Lawsuit links Tom Pickert's murder to owner of the vehicle police were searching for

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Five days after prominent Kansas City attorney Tom Pickert was shot and killed outside his home, police still have not announced a suspect. (KCTV5) Five days after prominent Kansas City attorney Tom Pickert was shot and killed outside his home, police still have not announced a suspect. (KCTV5)
According to a lawsuit, David Jungerman shot two homeless men on September 25, 2012, at the vacant warehouse he owned on Belmont Blvd. He admitted to shooting both trespassers, claiming self-defense. (KCTV5) According to a lawsuit, David Jungerman shot two homeless men on September 25, 2012, at the vacant warehouse he owned on Belmont Blvd. He admitted to shooting both trespassers, claiming self-defense. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Five days after prominent Kansas City attorney Tom Pickert was shot and killed outside his home, police still have not announced a suspect.

Meanwhile, KCTV5 News is digging deeper into the lawsuit that connects the murder victim to the owner of the vehicle police were searching for in their investigation. 

According to the lawsuit, David Jungerman shot two homeless men on September 25, 2012, at the vacant warehouse he owned on Belmont Blvd. He admitted to shooting both trespassers, claiming self-defense.

Jeffrey Harris was one of those men. His injuries were so bad, his leg had to be amputated below the knee.

Pickert and his law firm Fowler Picker Eisenmenger took on Harris' case. In August, Pickert helped KCTV5 arrange an interview with his partner Ryan Fowler. 

They argued Jungerman planned to use deadly force from the beginning.

"He gets a call from the alarm company, declines to contact the police, and instead chooses to get up, get dressed, and drive 20 minutes across town in the middle of the night over to the vacant warehouse," said Fowler.

Police recovered a large amount of ammunition and weapons belonging to Jungerman. 

Jungerman claimed he was defending himself, but according to local defense lawyer Gregory Watt, it's not that easy to argue self-defense. 

"You have the right to use deadly force upon another human being, but you don't have the ultimate right just based upon any situation that you find yourself in. It's not a panacea. You can't just say, 'Well, I stood my ground, somebody died as a result, so I'm going to walk away from this without consequence," said Watt.

Fowler said evidence refuted Jungerman's claims. Jungerman said the men were charging at him, yet they were shot from behind; he said they were inside the warehouse, but all blood and bone fragments were found outside.

The jury ruled in favor of Harris, saying Jungerman owed almost $6 million in damages.

"He has the right to defend himself and we never disputed that. The fact is that he wasn't defending himself and what he didn't have a right to do was to open fire on an unarmed man who posed no threat to anyone," said Fowler.

Police have not named Jungerman as a suspect in Pickert's murder, but the license plate on the van police were searching for was registered in his name. Police have found the van and say they've spoken with its owner. 

KCTV5 reached out to the county prosecutor's office to ask why Jungerman had not been criminally charged for the 2012 incident. A spokesperson told us they weren't able to comment on that case at this time. 

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