A prominent Kansas City lawyer was found murdered on the front porch of his own Brookside home.
Police are looking for the person who killed 39-year-old attorney Tom Pickert, and they believe a white van, which was parked in the area, could be an important clue.
Pickert was shot and killed in front of his house just after 8 a.m. on 66th Terrace just east of Wornall Road. Police say he went for a walk and was shot as he returned to his home.
Officers say Pickert's wife was home at the time and found her husband lifeless on their front porch. At this point, police have not released a motive. Pickert is also survived by his two sons.
Kansas City police are looking for the driver of a white 1997 Chevrolet van, which was discovered by police. No one was inside the vehicle at the time of it being discovered, according to police.
The van witnesses say was speeding away from the murder was registered to David Jungerman. He lives in Raytown and was a defendant in a recent case the victim tried.
Officers have spoken with Jungerman in person. Right now, they say he is not a suspect.
“One thing I will ask is that we’ve gotten some calls in regards to safety of citizens in the area, as with any homicide or with any event in the community, we would just again remind everybody to be vigilant. And if people have concerns in regards to their safety, I would ask that they reach out to their local police department," Mjr. Donna Greenwell said.
Pickert was a medical malpractice attorney with his own law firm. This summer, Pickert represented a homeless man who sued Jungerman over a shooting that caused the man to have part of his leg amputated.
Jeffrey Harris' attorneys say Jungerman grabbed an AK-47 and handgun and headed to his property without calling police. Then, without warning, shot Harris in the back of the leg.
"He was looking for a place to bed down that night," said Ryan Fowler, an attorney. "Mr. Jungerman said, yeah, I shot him. I shot him intentionally. But I shot him because he was inside my warehouse charging at me, so I was acting in self-defense."
Pickert helped win the case for his client, and Jungerman was ordered to pay $5,750,000.
In a video from Jungerman’s deposition, in that case, Pickert says, “There were five shell casing and three hits.”
Jungerman replies, “That’s pretty good from the hip isn’t it? That’s lucky shooting isn’t it.”
A day before Pickert was shot and killed, a levy was executed to garnish two of Jungerman's properties to pay the judgment in the civil case.
Pickert’s wife is a doctor at the University of Kansas Health System. A spokesperson at the hospital says they will support the Pickert family during this tough time.
“Because we really are a family, we work closely, we take care of very sick people and we are often in very tough situation, so you really get to know people and these are just incredibly fine people and our hearts are breaking,” said Tim Williamson, vice president of quality and safety for the University of Kansas Health System.
Jill Chadwick, who works for the hospital, said the family is trying to get family in town.
“This was unexpected, unattended and horrific," Chadwick said. "She is trying to get family in town and make arrangements for Tom.”
Many people who knew Pickert are remembering him and offering their condolences.
Emily Branch, the CEO of Legal Staffing Solutions, said he was a great person.
"Tom was a great person," she said. "He was an athlete, had a sincere desire to help people and was a supporter of a number of causes."
KCTV5 News reached out to Pickert’s firm. A recording says they will be closed until Monday due to unforeseen circumstances.
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