Two charged for fatal shooting of boy

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Darvon Thomas

Updated 5:55 p.m. April 15, 2021, with additional information.

Charges have been filed against two people in a connection to a Leavenworth shooting that resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy, the county attorney said.

Darvon D. Thomas, 25, Leavenworth, and a 17-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, boy have been charged with first-degree murder in connection to an incident that occurred Wednesday evening outside of Kare Pharmacy, 2500 S. Fourth St.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the Police Department began receiving multiple 911 calls around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday about a shooting at the pharmacy.

Kitchens said none of the participants of the shooting were still at the scene when officers arrived.

“But there was evidence of a shooting,” Kitchens said.

He said officers found a number of shell casings in the parking lot.

As officers gathered information, they learned multiple shots had been fired at a Volkswagen Jetta. The suspects reportedly left the scene in a Dodge Charger.

About one hour later, the Leavenworth Police Department received a call from a member of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department regarding a family who arrived at Children’s Mercy Hospital in a Volkswagen Jetta with a 12-year-old boy who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Kitchens said the boy was pronounced dead at the hospital, which is located in Kansas City, Missouri. The boy’s name has not been released.

“We were able to identify three suspects,” Kitchens said.

At about 1 a.m. Thursday, police believed they had located the suspects, Thomas, the 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, and their vehicle at a residence in the 200 block of South 12th Street.

The suspects were believed to be inside the house.

Kitchens said officers surrounded the home. The suspects were peacefully taken into custody by members of the Leavenworth Police Department’s Special Weapons And Tactics Team.

“We recovered a number of firearms at the house,” Kitchens said.

The suspects’ vehicle was impounded by the Police Department.

Kitchens said the three suspects were placed under arrest. The two juveniles were transported to a detention center in Wyandotte County. Leavenworth County no longer operates a juvenile detention center.

Thomas was booked into the Leavenworth County Jail.

“We have an incredible amount of work to do,” Kitchens said Thursday morning.

Kitchens said the focus of the investigation is on the purpose of the meeting in the pharmacy parking lot.

Police believe the suspects arrived in one vehicle. The victim, who was from Kansas City, Missouri, arrived in another vehicle with relatives.

Kitchens said a sedan that was traveling north on Fourth Street at the time of the shooting also was struck by a bullet. No one in this vehicle was injured.

The car that was used to drive the victim to Children’s Mercy Hospital was impounded by the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

County Attorney Todd Thompson announced Thursday afternoon that Thomas was charged with what is known as felony murder. Felony murder is a form of first-degree murder.

Felony murder occurs when someone is killed during the commission of felony that is considered inherently dangerous.

The 17-year-old boy also is charged felony murder. He faces an additional charge of discharging of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to Thompson.

Thompson said the law prevents him from releasing the teen’s name. Thompson said the juvenile could be prosecuted as an adult, but a hearing would first have to be held on the matter.

Thompson said the 15-year-old boy who also was arrested by police has not been charged at this time.

Both teens appeared in court Thursday afternoon.

Thomas is scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR