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Private Security Firm Owner Claims Self-Defense in Downtown Shooting that Injured Man

Matt Flener

Sidney Kile, 24, Pleaded Not Guilty to First Degree Assault and Armed Criminal Action Charges

The owner of a downtown private security firm is now charged with felony first-degree assault and felony armed criminal action charges after he shot a man in March. Criminal justice experts interviewed by KMBC 9 Investigates said this case will hinge on the argument of self-defense.

Sidney Kile, 24, has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed last month by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. Kile told police he and his girlfriend came out of his private security business, SK Security, 219 E. 12th St., just before 9:30 p.m. on March 31 to find a man sitting in his vehicle. Kile told the victim to exit the vehicle as Kile produced his firearm, which he held down at his side in a low-ready position, according to Kile’s statement to police in court documents.

Kile told police the victim became agitated and yelled an expletive, according to the court documents. The victim eventually got out of the vehicle as Kile ordered him to the ground as they waited for police and Kile said he was pointing his weapon at the victim as the victim exited the vehicle, according to the documents. That’s when Kile told police the victim ran at him in a threatening manner and attempted to grab Kile’s firearm, according to court documents. Kile told police he feared for his life and backpedaled away from the victim approximately 15 feet, according to the documents. Kile said he fell backward, as he was moving away and fired two rounds striking the victim, in his statement to police.

“Was he in imminent danger of death, or serious physical injury and the amount of force that he used was that appropriate? Under the circumstances, we feel in this case that Sidney had no other choice,” said Kile’s defense attorney John Picerno.

Witness statements in the court documents said the victim walked away first, contradicting Kile’s statement to police.

An SK Security employee told police he saw Kile chasing a man east on 12th Street and around the corner, according to court documents. Kile’s girlfriend, also a manager at the business told police, according to court documents, the man walked away, then turned back toward Kile and ran toward him.

Picerno said video evidence will ultimately bear out what happened.

Park University criminal justice professor Greg Plumb agreed, saying a jury will decide on video evidence and ballistics in this case to see if deadly force was necessary. “The police and the prosecutor will be trying to get more information and then when it comes down to the jury who they believe?” Plumb said. Plumb said the jury will have to decide whether using a gun was necessary if the victim was unarmed. “Is it reasonable to use that level of force to stop the aggression?” Plumb said.

University of Central Missouri criminal justice professor Dr. Greg Etter said the jury will have to decide who is more credible, Kile or the victim. Etter said the jury could also consider how many shots Kile fired, whether the victim had any gun residue on his hands, and the location of the victim’s injuries. Etter said it will hinge on the amount of danger Kile felt in the moment. “He’s going to have to overcome and show the jury that he perceived danger in deploying that weapon,” Etter said.

Picerno said he is ready to defend his client’s self-defense argument, saying Kile was not just defending his car, but his own life along with his girlfriend’s life. “He only shot him when the individual ran right at him,” he said. “And at that point, said he feared for his life and he fired his gun.”

Kile’s private security license expired on April 15, according to the Kansas City police department. A spokeswoman said Kile’s license is no longer eligible for renewal.

Kile’s next court date is May 23.