Police have charged 31-year-old Independence resident David Worlledge with second-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm following a fatal shooting last week in Kansas City.
Officers arrived at the single-family home at 7401 Askew Ave. on Aug. 29 to find pooling blood and bloody clothing in the lawn, with 37-year-old Christopher Cropp suffering from gunshot wounds, according to police reports. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
A witness recalled the preceding events, detailing that a Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV pulled into the victim’s driveway with a driver and two passengers. The witness said he could identify one passenger as a former roommate of the victim but said he had not seen this person at the residence in weeks.
After a verbal dispute, during which the witness said the victim appeared unarmed, a rear-seated passenger believed to be Worlledge fired a gun. Then, Cropp allegedly reached into the vehicle and removed the keys from the ignition. The rear-seated passenger fired more shots, and Cropp collapsed.
The driver reportedly got out of the Trailblazer, took the keys from Cropp’s hand and fled, along with the two passengers. Court documents say Worlledge provided the driver with a blonde wig, sunglasses and a bandana to wear as a disguise before dropping him off at a Kansas City residence the two reportedly shared with Worlledge’s girlfriend. A later search at this address, on Morrell Avenue, resulted in findings that included two guns and a crystal white substance in a plastic bag.
According to the driver, Worlledge also instructed him to clean the vehicle with cleaner and remove shell casings.
Worlledge has previously been convicted of tampering in the first degree, resisting or interfering with a lawful stop or detention and forgery.
If convicted of second degree murder, Worlledge would face at least 10 years in jail, with a possibility of life imprisonment.