By Sheila Davis
A homeless man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Erik S. Schwartz in Independence on Oct. 30.
Chad D. Terry Jr., 19, faces one count of second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action in Schwartz’s death. Robbery was the apparent motive, The Jackson County Prosecutor’s office reported.
Schwartz, of Raytown, was sleeping in his Jeep Cherokee, which he had parked in front of a house on Grand Avenue, a dead-end street north of Truman Road in the central part of Independence.
The court documents gave this account of the shooting:
A man who was awake at a nearby home told police that he saw Schwartz park his Jeep about 12:30 a.m. About an hour later, he saw another vehicle, a beige SUV, pull up alongside the Jeep. A woman got out of the SUV and reached inside the Jeep, then got back into the SUV. The witness went back to playing video games, but about five minutes later he heard a single gunshot. He looked out of his upstairs window and saw the victim lying on the ground and two males, one wearing a black jacket with a Chiefs logo on the back, standing nearby. Both males ran south on Grand.
According to court documents, there were four people, including Terry, in the SUV, either a Chevrolet Tahoe or a GMC Yukon, with large customized wheels. They were driving around Kansas City and Independence looking for cars to break into. When they came across Schwartz’s Jeep, the woman in the SUV got out to check it. She told the others Schwartz appeared to be in a deep sleep.
The others involved told police that Terry was armed with what was described as a .38 revolver. He drove the SUV to the end of the street, then he and and another man, described as Terry’s “homeboy,” got out and walked back to the Jeep.
The others in the vehicle said they heard a gunshot and soon after, Terry and the other male got back into the SUV and they drove back to Kansas City. They told police Terry was agitated and was threatening to kill them with the gun.
Back in Kansas City, they went their separate ways. After Independence Police got an anonymous tip, suspects were interviewed and Terry was arrested.
An aquaintance of Terry’s told police the suspects took only the victim’s cigarettes. She said Terry appeared very proud of the fact that he had shot a man in the head.
Terry declined to talk to police.
Independence Police said Terry’s bond has been set at $250,000 with 10 percent secured.