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Teen arrested, held for alleged drug-related shooting

An 18-year-old Kansas City man is facing charges in connection with alleged criminal activity that led to the death of a 23-year-old individual. The shooting, which is thought to have been drug-related, was one of at least two slayings in the same apartment complex on Jan. 4, according to local authorities. The younger man has been charged with second-degree murder and felony armed criminal action for his alleged role in the shootings, which happened at the Sun Gate apartment complex on North Broadway.

Authorities report that the man remains in police custody on a $750,000 bail.

Official reports show that the 18-year-old man was accompanying another individual who was seeking to purchase cocaine. The victim and his friend had arrived at the apartment complex to sell the cocaine when the deal went sour, according to one of the men. The buyer of the drugs gave conflicting reports to police, initially saying that the victim attempted to rob him. The suspect, who had accompanied the buyer, is said to have returned shots after the deceased victim opened fire. The suspect was also shot during the altercation.

In this case, it is not clear who fired the first shot. The suspect in this situation could have simply been protecting himself from a perceived or real threat, which could change the nature of the case entirely. Even though the shooting was part of a drug deal, the suspect could have still been using justifiable self-defense to protect himself and his friend.

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing in the matter. It is not clear whether other charges were filed in connection with the incident.

The suspect in this case could reduce his potential sentence and even eliminate some of the charges against him if he chooses to plead guilty. A guilty plea would be advisable if the prosecuting attorney demonstrates a significant amount of evidence linking the man to the crime.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Kansas City man, 18, charged in fatal Gladstone shooting," Robert A. Cronkleton, Jan. 5, 2013.

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