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Examiner
  • Mall shooter sentenced to 64 years in prison

  • The Kansas City man who was convicted in connection to a January 2012 shooting at Independence Center will spend the next 64 years behind bars.

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  • The Kansas City man who was convicted in connection to a January 2012 shooting at Independence Center will spend the next 64 years behind bars.
    Judge James Kanatzar sentenced Eric D. Bratton, 25, of Kansas City, to a total of 64 years in prison for the shooting that injured two people. He was sentenced to 25 years on each of the two counts of armed criminal action and seven years on each of the two counts of assault. The sentences will run consecutively.
    A Jackson County jury found Bratton guilt in January on the two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action. The charges stem from a Jan. 14, 2012, incident at Independence Center. Bratton made a lewd comment about Rochelle Moore, the girlfriend of Dilon Yates, near the entrance to Sears. A verbal and physical altercation followed, but Bratton continued to follow the couple through the mall.
    After another exchange of words, Bratton pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and shot at the couple. Yates was hit in the thigh and Moore in the foot. A third shot missed both of them and instead hit the window at Forever 21.
    Surveillance footage from the time of the shooting showed a chaotic scene as shoppers fled. Many of the stores shut their gates and moved customers to the back of the store until police arrived on scene. The mall was also locked down briefly.
    Bratton argued in court that he shot in self defense because he thought the male victim might have been carrying a gun.
    Yates and Moore have since filed a lawsuit against Independence Center, its operator, Simon Property Group and the company responsible for providing security at the mall. According to the lawsuit, there were no security officers available to assist Yates and Moore after the shooting because they were with a group of teenagers who had been accused of shoplifting. The lawsuit also claims that Independence Center and Simon properties “failed to provide adequate security” in what they refer to as a “predictable crime.”
     
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