Two brothers are accused of murder in an early April shooting at an apartment complex in Kansas City’s East Swope Highlands neighborhood.
Jackson County prosecutors have charged Darren Randall, 29, of Kansas City, and David Randall, 31, of Raytown, with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. They are accused of fatally shooting 56-year-old Keith Martin in the Park Highlands Apartments complex.
As of Thursday, both were being held without bond in the Jackson County jail. Online court records did not list a defense attorney for either man.
David Randall denied being involved in the killing or being near the apartment complex that night when questioned by detectives, according to court documents. It was unclear from available court documents whether Darren Randall participated in a police interview before he was charged.
On April 4, shortly before 1 a.m., Kansas City police officers were dispatched to the 6400 block of Manchester Avenue on a reported shooting.
They were directed to a hallway where they would find Martin shot dead outside a slightly ajar door leading to his apartment. One spent shell casing was found in the unit.
Detectives interviewed witnesses who heard the gunshot. They also found footage from cameras that showed several people entering and leaving the parking lot right around the time of the shooting.
Charging documents unsealed in Jackson County on Wednesday and Thursday outline an apparent familial dispute between Martin and relatives of a woman who had lived with him that, authorities allege, the Randall brothers became involved in.
On the night he was killed, witnesses told police Martin had kicked the woman out of the apartment. Text messages later obtained and reviewed by detectives suggested there had been tension with relatives of that woman prior to the shooting, according to charging documents.
On April 5, Kansas City police officers pulled over a vehicle they believed was the one spotted by the surveillance cameras. David Randall, who was in the passenger seat, was arrested for alleged drug possession.
Witness interviews conducted by detectives led them to Darren Randall, the younger brother, as a second suspect believed to have gone inside the building. Detectives said in court documents that witnesses told them both went up to the apartment and confronted Martin at his door.
Police also became aware of recorded jailhouse calls where David Randall allegedly directed someone to “get rid of … that thing you got,” which detectives came to believe was a reference to a firearm that was possibly hidden in a shoebox and wrapped in a T-shirt.
As of last week, police had not found the firearm they were looking for after a search at David Randall’s listed residence in Raytown, according to court documents.