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Man accused of firing fatal shots in gas station shooting

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Kansas City man faces multiple charges including first-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting at a gas station that seriously injured a 10-year-old boy.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said a young father was leaving the BP gas station with his 10-year-old son and a 5-year-old family friend when the gunman for an unknown reason fired the shots. 

"They were simply preparing to leave a gas station when the defendant approached their vehicle, he pulled a gun and he fired repeatedly into that car," Baker said. "That resulted in the death of the driver and severe physical injuries to his 10-year-old son. It is important to remember that 10-year-old is still struggling and fighting for his life."

Dontae D. Jefferson, 27, was charged with first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, child endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm and shooting at a person. He is being held on $500,000 bond.

K.C. Curry, 34, was shot in the head Friday night and died at the scene. A bullet struck his 10-year-old son's spine.

Ka'Vyea Tyson Curry will have to learn to walk again, and has undergone multiple surgeries since the shooting. His condition remains quite serious.

A 5-year-old boy was also inside the vehicle when gunfire broke out but was not injured.

Police released surveillance video of when the gunman fired shots into Curry's car parked at the gas station in the 4500 block of Cleveland Avenue.

Court documents do not provide whether the shooting was motivated by robbery or something else. Baker said a motive remains unclear.

"We are standing here because I'm standing amongst heroes," an emotional Baker said about information that police on Thursday were able to gather that led to the charges. "The police department was not going to allow this case to go unsolved."

She thanked detectives for their tireless efforts to see justice served.

Jefferson is a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty in 2004 to crimes in Grandview and Kansas City. He was given a 10-year prison sentence for a Grandview robbery and a five-year prison sentence for a Kansas City burglary and car theft.

He was released from prison in August.

According to court records, eight spent .40-caliber shell casings were recovered from the crime scene.

Surveillance video and witness tips helped lead police to Jefferson, according to court records.

"This is a case that really strikes at the heart of the community when a murder of a father happens in front of two children with no regard for the children's safety in that car on a busy gas station parking lot," Baker said. "That is a case when we cannot remain silent and this community did not remain silent."

Jefferson and another man were seen arriving at the gas station about 30 minutes before the shooting, according to surveillance video obtained by police. The second man acted as the getaway driver after Jefferson fired the shots, and provided detectives with key details about the shooting, according to court records.

The owner of the vehicle used as the getaway vehicle allowed detectives to search the black Chevrolet Tahoe. A loaded .40-caliber handgun was found underneath the cup holder in the front-seat area. A 20-round ammunition box had just nine rounds in it.

Donations can be made at any Bank of America to a fund set up in Ka'Vyea's name to help the family with his massive medical expenses.

Ky Martin, the boy's aunt, said his infection is responding to antibiotics. She said the arrest allows her to focus mainly on her nephew's recovery.

"I'm so happy right now," she said. "It makes me feel a little bit better knowing that this guy is now off the streets thanks to everyone and the detectives."

She thanked "everyone who called in the tips and helped in the case and did not give up." She offered gratitude on her sister's behalf, saying her sister doesn't want to leave her son's hospital bed.

Detectives in an effort to help cheer up the ailing boy offered to have a Chiefs player come visit him. Instead, he asked for a book on the U.S. presidents, which the detectives then went and purchased. He gave them "a very faint thumbs up" from his hospital bed when they presented the book to him, Baker said.

Family friend Brianna Williams said she's relieved by the arrest.

"Ka'Vyea has still got a long road ahead of him, but it's nice to know that we live in a community that's not going to let something like this go unsolved," she said. "You can't do violence against children without having to answer to that."

The little boy faces months of extensive rehabilitation to be able to walk again, but his loved ones are confident that he will recover.

"Ka'Vyea is smart. He's brilliant. He's strong. He's a fighter and he will recover from this and bounce back," Williams said.

KCTV5's Heather Staggers contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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