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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

KC Man Charged After Shooting Female Z-Trip Driver at Least 20 Times During Robbery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Mo., man was charged in federal court today for the armed robbery of a female Z-Trip driver who was shot at least 20 times.

Derron D. Nevels, also known as “Ronnie,” 18, was charged in a two-count complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s criminal complaint charges Nevels with one count of robbery and one count of using a firearm in a crime of violence.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Nevels was picked up by a Z-Trip driver at 3715 Wabash Ave., Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday evening, Dec. 4, 2018. The Z-Trip taxi in which the crime was committed is equipped with interior and exterior cameras. The cameras show Nevels getting into the rear passenger seat at approximately 8:03 p.m., the affidavit says. The Z-Trip driver took him to 914 Benton Ave., Kansas City, Mo., arriving at the destination at approximately 8:15 p.m.

When they arrived at the destination, they waited in the vehicle for somebody to bring out the fare. When a second (unidentified) suspect approached the vehicle, the affidavit says, Nevels held a Smith and Wesson Military & Police .22-caliber rifle up to the victim’s head and demanded she give him everything. The victim attempted to explain that he was being recorded, to which Nevels allegedly responded, “I don’t care; give me everything.” Nevels also appeared to be taking a photo or video with his cell phone, the affidavit says.

The victim turned toward the back seat and grabbed onto the rifle, and a struggle ensued. The second suspect hit the victim in the face, then reached around the driver’s seat to strike her in the back and the back of her head. The victim released her grip from the gun, the affidavit says, at which time Nevels leaned back in his seat, chambered a live round, and opened fire on the victim within close range, approximately 21 times. Both suspects then fled from the scene, running in a northbound direction.

About 10 minutes later, at approximately 8:25 p.m., the affidavit says, one of the suspects returned to the victim’s vehicle to retrieve Nevel’s cell phone, which he had left behind when he fled from the scene of the crime. He can be heard on the video asking the victim if she is okay, and she informs him that she has been shot and has called the police. He reached into the rear driver’s side of the vehicle to pick up the cell phone then left the scene.

When police officers arrived, the victim was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. It was determined the victim sustained approximately 20 gunshot wounds to her upper body. To date her condition continues to be critical with substantial and serious bodily injuries.

Investigators used cell phone and Facebook data to identify Nevels, the affidavit says. On Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, Nevels and two other men were seen getting onto a bus in the area of Prospect and Swope Parkway. Nevels was arrested when they got off the bus at 11th Street and Grand Avenue. Nevels was carrying the loaded rifle hidden in his waistband with the barrel going down his right pant leg. Two other individuals were taken into custody but are not charged in the federal complaint.

The charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Foley. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Updated December 12, 2018