November 16, 2020

A 33-year-old Northland man has been charged in connection with the shooting of a 9-year-old child near a Quik Trip store on 40 Highway on Friday evening, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

Steven G. Abernathy Jr, dob: 9/27/1987, faces Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Assault 1st Degree and two counts of Armed Criminal Action charges.*

According to court documents filed this afternoon, the defendant knowingly shot multiple times at a vehicle occupied by two adults and two children, ages 1 and 9. The older child was struck by gun fire in the lower back. The shooting began near V’s Italiano Ristorante on 40 Highway in Independence and proceeded eastward along 40 Highway toward Sterling Avenue. Witnesses told police that an associate of the defendant’s had had been involved in a dispute earlier with the victim’s family. On Friday night, the defendant and his associates were in a vehicle near a Quik Trip on 40 Highway, when they encountered the victims’ family. The defendant’s associates began to follow the victims’ vehicle and shots were fired. The 9 -year-0ld suffered injuries to her colon and pelvis.

Prosecutors requested a $100,000 bond.

*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.