Man charged with murder in fatal shooting outside Family Dollar in Kansas City

Bill Lukitsch
·3 min read

A 23-year-old man is accused of carrying out a fatal shooting that unfolded last month in the parking lot of a Family Dollar in Kansas City’s Oak Park Southeast neighborhood.

Lionel Bolton, of Shawnee, was charged Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court with second-degree murder, unlawful weapon use and two counts of armed criminal action. He is accused of killing 44-year-old Alfred Brown on April 12, court records show.

According to charging documents, Kansas City police officers were dispatched around 8:30 p.m. that night to the parking lot of the Family Dollar at 39th Street and Indiana Avenue on a reported shooting. They found Brown there in the driver’s seat of a Dodge SUV with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital and died there.

Detectives spoke with two Family Dollar employees at the scene. Both described seeing a man enter the store around 8:20 p.m. right before the shooting took place.

A cashier told investigators the suspected shooter walked up to the register and asked where he could get cash. She directed him to an ATM in the store. Afterward she said the man approached the counter and showed that he had taken out two $20 bills before leaving the store, according to court records.

Another employee said he was outside smoking a cigarette when the shooting happened. He told police he heard the gunshots, then saw a man exit the SUV where the homicide victim was found before running to a blue Chevy and driving away.

Inside the vehicle, crime scene investigators found a cell phone belonging to the victim. There .45-caliber shell casings in the front seats, two of the windows were busted out and the driver’s side door was open. Police also found $40 in cash on the driver’s side floorboard, court records state.

Surveillance footage showed a blue Chevy HHR suspected as the getaway vehicle turning onto Cleveland Avenue a few blocks from the shooting scene that night. Other cameras from within the store showed a man, later identified by police as Bolton, approaching the cash register.

On April 18, a review of the cellphones found in the vehicle showed the victim had texted a phone number associated with Bolton with two words: “Family Dollar.”

Detectives obtained records from the ATM that showed a cash withdrawal took place right before the shooting. The bank that made the transaction informed detectives last week that the debit card used belonged to Bolton, court records state.

Undercover detectives began surveillance on Bolton at the Shawnee Gardens Apartments. There they found a vehicle registered to Bolton that resembled the one seen in surveillance footage, according to court records. A warrant for his arrest was served Friday.

Charging documents make no mention of Bolton being interviewed by police.

Court records did not list a defense attorney who could speak on Bolton’s behalf as of Tuesday night.

Bolton was being held Tuesday in the Jackson County jail on a $250,000 bond.

The Star’s Matti Gellman contributed to this report.