A Jackson County judge sentenced a 20-year-old man to 22 years in prison for killing two people and shooting a 5-year-old in the face in Kansas City’s Santa Fe neighborhood last year.
David Emerson, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault. He admitted to killing Jermaine Jackson, 34, and Ashley Pettiford, 31, and shooting Pettiford’s then-5-year-old son in the right eye in a Kansas City apartment parking lot.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped five other felony charges and recommended the 22-year prison sentence.
Around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2022, police officers were called to the reported shooting near Linwood Boulevard and Agnes Avenue. Police found Jackson and Pettiford dead in a Dodge SUV, and the child in the backseat was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Shell casings were found on the ground outside three of the SUV’s doors. Crime scene investigators also found shoe prints in mud.
A surveillance camera set up with a view of the parking lot showed a man opening and closing the doors of the SUV as apparent muzzle flashes were seen, according to an affidavit prepared by a Kansas City homicide detective. He then grabbed a plastic bag from the SUV and ran away.
Detectives received an anonymous tip that led them to a Facebook page for Emerson, according to court documents. On the webpage, they saw photos that bore a resemblance, including a distinctive tattoo and a coat worn by the suspect.
Eleven days after the killing, Emerson was arrested by undercover officers and questioned by homicide detectives. He denied involvement when interviewed.