KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – More details continue to emerge about man accused of opening fire at a Kansas City nightclub as people celebrated Sunday’s big Chiefs win.
Authorities say Jahron Swift was shot and killed by a security guard after killing 25-year-old Raeven Parks and injuring 15 others outside 9Nine Ultra nightclub Sunday night.
Court records show Swift had a weapons conviction from 2015, but another charge from 2016 was dropped when state law changed the same year.
Before the fall of 2016, individuals needed a permit to carry a weapon in Missouri. Getting the permit required 8 hours of training and a background check.
However, the state legislature passed a law striking those requirements, a move that Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker believes has made Missouri residents less safe.
Peters Baker was at the bloody scene of the shooting Sunday night and said this case is just the latest example that the law poses.
“It’s mind boggling how many people think that they need to go to a club armed,” she told KCTV5 News. “Honestly, I don’t know what else police could have done to stop this. There is nothing they could’ve done.”
Missouri’s law allowing concealed-carry weapons without a permit was originally passed by Republican lawmakers before being vetoed by then-Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. That veto was then overridden by both Republican led legislatures.
It is a regulation that Peters Baker said led to many cases never coming to trial.
“Mr. Swift’s case was one of many, many, many, many that got dismissed during that period of time,” she explained. “I probably charged this crime more than any other crime, and then one day it’s gone.”
While Peters Baker can’t say if being able to prosecute Swift for the weapons charge would have prevented what happened Sunday night, she said that since it was his second offense, it’s likely he would have served some jail time and be prohibited from having a gun.
She also believes that even though it’s legal for almost anyone to carry a gun almost anywhere, that does not make the community safer.
“These charges, they helped us because while they were low level felonies, it got them into the system and it got some intervention in their life,” Peters Baker told KCTV5 News. “I worry about Kansas City and we’re going to go out to clubs to celebrate in the near future.”
Peters Baker said she cannot give the family of Raeven Parks justice since the suspect is dead, but she wants them to know that she cares about them and that this crime is an injustice to the entire city.