Man charged with Kansas City murder allegedly shot victim in the back: court records

Bill Lukitsch
·3 min read

A 43-year-old man has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Elijah Flores in Kansas City’s North Blue Valley neighborhood on Tuesday night, prosecutors said Thursday.

Mark R. Sellars, of Independence, was charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful weapon use and illegal firearm possession, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutors have requested Sellars be held in jail without bond.

According to court records, Kansas City police were called around 8:30 p.m. to the 700 block of Ditman Avenue on a reported shooting. When they arrived they found Flores on the ground in a vacant lot near the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses told officers Flores had been shot inside a residence on the block by a man wearing a red baseball cap. A search warrant was obtained for the house and inside the front door three spent shell casings were found near the front door.

A resident of the home told police she was asleep on the couch when Sellars, Flores and a third man she did not know came inside the room. She said Flores had been out helping Sellars search for Sellars’ truck, which had been stolen recently.

There was a verbal altercation between Sellars and Flores, the witness said, that prompted Flores to head toward the front door. Then Sellars pulled out a gun from his hooded sweatshirt and shot Flores in the back, the witness told investigators.

She then allegedly heard Sellars say: “I’m not playing no (expletive) games,” according to court records.

She said Sellars fired twice more and then tried to make her take Flores’ car keys and cellphone. The witness said she hid until police arrived.

Another resident of the home told police he saw Sellars pull into the carport with two other men. As he was walking up the block, he said he heard three gunshots and then saw Sellars standing over Flores with what appeared to be a gun in his right hand.

Police spoke with a third witness, a neighbor, who reported hearing the gunfire and then seeing a man on her property. He allegedly told her he was just “cutting through.” She said the man asked her for a ride, she declined, and then she saw him running toward Blue Ridge Boulevard as she heard police sirens.

On Wednesday, police searched the area with a K-9 unit and found a 9mm handgun in a wooded area near 9th Street and Dickman Avenue, roughly two blocks away from the shooting. An analysis of the gun had yet to be completed as of Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Kansas City police were surveilling a home in Independence as they sought Sellars. He was arrested on the property and had methamphetamine in his possession at the time, charging documents say.

Detectives declined to interview Sellars on Wednesday because they believed he was under the influence of narcotics, according to court records.

Court records show Sellars was convicted of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in another Jackson County shooting death that unfolded in June 2008.

The Star previously reported that Sellars was charged in the killing of David K. Rinker, shot to death in his trailer home east of U.S. 40 and Manchester Trafficway.

Sellars was released on probation in December.