Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Two Men Charged with Armed Robbery after Shoot-out with Law Enforcement Results in Fatality
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two men were charged in federal court today for the armed robbery of a Walgreens in Blue Springs, Mo., which resulted in a third suspect being fatally shot by law enforcement officers.
Shannon R. Thomas, 25, of Shawnee, Kan., and Deonte J. Collins-Abbott, 21, of Grandview, Mo., were charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.
Today’s criminal complaint charges both Thomas and Collins-Abbott with the armed robbery of a Walgreens located at 9th and Duncan in Blue Springs. Thomas and Collins-Abbott are also charged with aiding and abetting each other to possess a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Thomas and Collins-Abbott as part of an investigation into a series of 21 armed robberies of businesses in Independence, Mo., Raytown, Mo., North Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., since Jan. 2, 2016. In all of these robberies, the affidavit says, the suspects have consistently displayed handguns in a threatening manner and behaved in a violent and aggressive fashion physically toward their victims, including shooting one victim at the Conoco located at 4656 Prospect Ave., Kansas City, Mo., on March 15, 2016. The robberies appear to have been committed consistently by at least four suspects who appear in surveillance video in most of the incidents.
Law enforcement officers saw Collins-Abbott leave his apartment and travel to the apartment of Jermon Seals in Shawnee early this morning. When Collins-Abbott and Seals left the apartment, the affidavit says, they both appeared to be holding handguns and were dressed in all black clothing. They left in Seals’s 2001 BMW X5 SUV and eventually stopped to pick up Thomas.
At approximately 3:09 a.m., the affidavit says, they stopped at the Phillips 66 at 1005 N.W. Coronodo Dr., Blue Springs. They entered the business and quickly left. According to the affidavit, they had attempted to rob the business.
They then drove to the area of 9th and Duncan in Blue Springs. The affidavit says they left the vehicle and walked up to the Walgreens, where they confronted an employee outside the business and forced the employee inside at gunpoint. Once inside, one of the robbers placed a firearm to the back of the employee’s head and took money from the front register. The other two robbers went over the pharmacy counter and took prescription grade cough syrup at gunpoint from the pharmacist. They then exited the business.
Law enforcement officers confronted them as they were walking back to the vehicle, the affidavit says. They failed to comply with the officers’ commands, according to the affidavit, and turned towards the officers, pointing a gun in their direction. Officers returned fire and Seals was struck in the exchange. Collins-Abbott and Thomas were apprehended by officers after a short foot pursuit.
Dickinson cautioned that 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 Adam Caine. It was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service.