Kansas City personal injury attorney, Thomas Pickert, [photo], was fatally shot outside his home Wednesday morning. His recent courtroom victory caused financial ruin for the defendant in that case
The well known Kansas City attorney was fatally shot on his front porch moments after walking his kids to school and the man he recently sued is tied to the killing.
Pickert was found on the front porch by his wife.
An unoccupied white Chevrolet van connected with the shooting was discovered later Wednesday. The 1997 vehicle was registered to David Jungerman, who had recently lost a lawsuit filed by Pickert, local NBC affiliate KSHB reports.
Jungerman, reportedly hasn’t been named as a suspect nor person of interest in the case, although police were reportedly at his home Wednesday.
Witnesses report seeing white 1997 Chevrolet van belonging to 79-year-old David Jungerman, the defendant in who lost the personal injury suit leaving the crime scene
The slain attorney, who worked at the Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger law firm, represented one of the two men 79-year-old Jungerman shot on his property in 2012.
His client, Jeffery Harris, and another man were homeless and believed to be stealing copper when they set off Jungerman’s alarm. He ran outside, shooting them with an AK-47, according to KSHB.
Harris’ leg had to be amputated because of the shooting, according to reports.
Pickert led the civil lawsuit, successfully winning a $5.75 million case against Jungerman.
During his closing argument in the case, Pickert attorney for the plaintiff reportedly, gave an emotional argument for a jury verdict against the 79-year-old man for the shooting: “A verdict for (the man) is giving him and others like him permission to take the law into their own hands, to be judge, jury and executioner,” Pickert said, according to the story. “That’s not the way our society works,” lawyersmedia reports.
An order from a Jackson County, Mo., court served to Jungerman on Tuesday ordered his real estate be seized to start paying off his debt.
Pickert was sitting on his porch at about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, having just dropped off his two sons at their nearby school, that’s when Pickert’s wife heard a gunshot, and ran outside.
Pickert [seen right under a tarp], was sitting on his front porch when he was shotPickert’s wife [right], a doctor, was home at the time and found her husband dead on the front porch of their Kansas City shortly after 8am, on Wednesday
His wife who works as a doctor for the University of Kansas Health System, found him shot on the front yard, police said.
Immediately after the shooting, Kansas City police said they were looking for a white Chevrolet van which officers found abandoned in Raytown, Wednesday night. On Thursday morning police said they have talked to the owner of the van. Missouri state records show its license plates are registered to David Jungerman, a defendant in the civil lawsuit filed Pickert and his firm on behalf of Jeffery Harris. Jungerman was found liable in the case.
Associates remembered Pickert, a marathon runner and endurance athlete, as a caring attorney: “He was extremely well-liked, everyone respected him,” David Morantz, his law school classmate at the University of Kansas, told the Star.
“He was always thoughtful, always engaging and always had a smile on his face.”
Although police have not released any details about a motive for Pickert’s murder, records show that after the attorney won the case for his client, which resulted in the defendant having to pay $5.75 million in damages, court officials started the process last week of seizing Jungerman’s property, including his home and Kansas City business.