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Examiner
  • Blue Springs man faces murder charges

  • A Blue Springs man has been charged in the shooting deaths of a Blue Springs couple in Kansas City on Monday.

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  • A Blue Springs man has been charged in the shooting deaths of a Blue Springs couple in Kansas City on Monday.
    Howard Ray Stephenson, 43, of Blue Springs, faces two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action in the deaths of Qwentelia Vanzant, 25, and Jaron Syrus, 25, both of Blue Springs.
    Police found Vanzant and Syrus shot Monday night in the parking lot of a convenience store in the 5400 block of Blue Parkway in Kansas City. The victims’ 3-year-old son and Vanzant’s 7-year-old daughter reportedly were inside the couple’s vehicle in the same lot when the shooting occurred.
    According to court documents, an argument and then a fight broke out in the convenience store’s parking lot between several males and females. Witnesses say Syrus produced a handgun but lost control of the gun to Stephenson, who allegedly shot Syrus while he was lying on the ground and then shot Vanzant before fleeing the scene in a vehicle.
    Court documents say that Syrus told Kansas City police as he was dying that Stephenson, who goes by Ray, was the one who shot him. The victims were taken to area hospitals but were later pronounced dead.
    Police say 13 shell casings were found in the parking lot. A video shows Syrus being shot on the ground and Vanzant being shot from several feet away.
    Kansas City police arrested Stephenson on Thursday. Jackson County prosecutors have requested a $250,000 cash only bond on Stephenson.
     
     

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