Third man charged in Kansas City drive-by that killed 14-year-old: Prosecutors

A third person has been charged in connection with a September 2021 drive-by shooting that left a 14-year-old dead in Kansas City’s Fairwood and Robandee neighborhood.

Darell E. Thompson, 18, of Kansas City, is charged with accessory to second-degree murder, accessory to armed criminal action and accessory to the unlawful use of a weapon, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday.

In May, Jackson County prosecutors charged Charlie D. Adams-Bradley, 21, and Amarion Cornelius, 19, in connection with the killing of 14-year-old Gabriel Williams. Both Bradley and Cornelius are accused of second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful weapon use.

Thompson is identified in court documents as Cornelius’ cousin.

On Sept. 24, 2021, Kansas City police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Bannister and James A. Reed roads in regard to a reported shooting. On the ground in the parking lot of a driveway police found Williams dead of apparent gunshot wounds.

A stolen pistol was found near the body. Two spent shell casings were also found nearby, according to charging documents.

A witness told police Williams was at a football game between Raytown South and Grandview that night and that he called him asking for a ride. During the call, the witness said, Williams sounded “scared” and was overheard telling someone his location while they were driving in the area of Bannister and James A. Reed roads in south Kansas City.

Williams was let out of the car at a nearby gas station, the witness told police. Shortly after, the witness reported hearing gunfire.

Surveillance video from a nearby business showed Williams being dropped off near a gas station convenience store. Around that time, a white Chevrolet Malibu with no front bumper was seen entering the parking lot of a business across the street.

Williams was pacing and then raised his hands in the air as he looked at the vehicle, according to court documents. Then the car drove past as the sound of gunshots was captured by the surveillance system.

Minutes later, authorities allege the same Chevy Malibu was seen on a surveillance camera backing into the driveway of a residence blocks away from the shooting scene.

A search warrant was served on the home three days later. Inside, authorities allege, a handgun was found underneath a mattress that was positively identified through the Kansas City Police Crime Lab to shell casings found at the homicide scene.

Adams-Bradley was taken into police custody there, according to court documents. He denied being involved with the homicide during a police interview.

Detectives were also led to the vehicle suspected of being used in the shooting that night. It was reported as abandoned in late September 2021 near the intersection of 40th Street and Overton Avenue.

After a search of that vehicle, authorities reported finding shell casings on the exterior near the windshield wipers. It was later found to have been sold to a person with the same address as Cornelius.

Cornelius was first arrested in October. He also denied any involvement in the homicide when interviewed by detectives, according to court documents.

Authorities allege Thompson was connected to the shooting through tips submitted through the TIPS Hotline.

Phone records later reviewed by detectives allegedly showed the three men were communicating on the night of the killing. Authorities also allege location data from cellphones associated with the three men showed they were in the area of the shooting scene on the night Williams was killed.

As of Wednesday, Thompson was being held in the Jackson County jail on a $500,000 bond. Court records did not list a defense attorney who could speak on his behalf.