Two men face murder charges in connection with a fatal shooting Friday on Interstate 70 in Independence.
Michael Dumas, 26, of Pleasant Hill faces charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action after he allegedly shot into another vehicle while driving on westbound I-70, killing a passenger, later identified as 18-year-old Phillip Anderson from Kansas City.
Donovan James, another 18-year-old from Kansas City is charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action. James, a passenger in the same car as Anderson, allegedly fired several shots into Dumas' car on Noland Road at the westbound on-ramp following a dispute a nearby gas station. After Anderson was hit, the driver of their vehicle pulled into the QuikTrip at U.S. 40 and Sterling Road to seek help, but by then Anderson was dead.
James is charged with murder because prosecutors say Anderson died as a result of James’ felony action.
After the shooting, Dumas initially hid in the woods near I-70 and Blue Ridge Cutoff, then got a ride to a house on Blue Ridge Boulevard, from which Kansas City police took him to a hospital because he was a suicide risk.
The shooting happened shortly before 9 p.m. Friday. According to court documents, the driver of Anderson and James’ vehicle, a Pontiac Grand Prix, said Dumas had been “mean mugging” them (giving them dirty looks) at a Shell gas station on Noland near I-70. Dumas then drove his Ford Focus onto Noland, preparing to turn onto eastbound I-70, and the Grand Prix's driver prepared to turn onto westbound I-70. James, sitting in the back, said he was going to “air him out” and proceeded to lean out the window and fire several shots over the top of the Grand Prix toward the Focus.
The Grand Prix then tried to speed away onto westbound I-70, but Dumas chased them, pulled up to the right and fired multiple shots into the Grand Prix, killing Anderson, who was the front-seat passenger.
James said Anderson had been the shooter on Noland Road and claimed he had fired two shots on I-70 after Anderson had been shot.
Witnesses told police a rear passenger in the Grand Prix had fired toward the Focus and that the Focus had pulled up alongside the victim's vehicle on I-70 and the driver fired multiple shots into the Grand Prix.
An emotional Dumas told police he was not a murderer but acknowledged he was involved in an incident at the gas station on Noland, according to court documents.
Police found the Focus, with multiple bullet holes, at a gas station on Blue Ridge Cutoff across from the Truman Sports Complex. Police also found shell casings on the I-70 ramp from Noland and on I-70 near Crysler Avenue.
Police closed I-70 westbound at Noland Road, as well as Noland's southbound lanes at 39th Street, for a couple hours Friday night to gather evidence.
Dumas' bond has been set at $150,000 cash.