O’Reilly store employee charged with murder in strangulation of shoplifting suspect
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KCTV) - A 39-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with the death of a suspected shoplifter.
The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office stated Carl Kemppainen was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Diamond Steen.
The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department sent officers to the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts location in the 4700 block of Parallel Parkway after learning of a disturbance.
When they arrived, first responders learned that two men had entered the store and began to shoplift. A fight broke out between the suspects and store employees outside the store resulting in one of the suspected shoplifters being killed.
WATCH: Wyandotte County DA’s Office holds press conference for charges in O’Reilly Auto Parts store homicide investigation
He was identified as Diamond Steen of Kansas City, Missouri. He died of strangulation, according to the district attorney.
“Based off the autopsy, it is clear that strangulation was the cause of death,” Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree said. “The deceased’s airway was completely stopped and that ultimately caused his death.”
Police said the other shoplifter suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital.
“There were about four individuals that were involved that we are still looking at,” Dupree said. “I cannot say that there is a racial component besides the reality of the deceased is an African American and the defendant is a white man. I do not think that played a role in concern of the act.”
Kemppainen, who was a store employee of the O’Reilly’s, was booked on a $125,000 bond. He posted bond, according to online jail records.
The range of sentencing for the reckless second-degree murder charge is 109 to 493 months in prison.
Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to call Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2023 KCTV. All rights reserved.