Auto Parts Employee Charged with Second-Degree Murder After Strangling Suspected Shoplifter

A 39-year-old man in Kansas City, Kansas, is facing charges of second-degree murder in connection with the death of a suspected shoplifter. Carl Kemppainen, an employee at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, was taken into custody following a deadly confrontation with 23-year-old Diamond Steen.

The incident unfolded at the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store on Parallel Parkway. Police were called to the scene after receiving reports of a disturbance. Upon their arrival, officers found that two men had allegedly tried to steal from the store, which led to a physical altercation with store employees. The clash resulted in the death of one of the alleged shoplifters, later identified as Diamond Steen from Kansas City, Missouri.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Steen’s death was caused by strangulation. District Attorney Mark Dupree stated, “The autopsy clearly shows that the cause of death was strangulation. The deceased’s airway was completely blocked, leading to his death.”

The second individual suspected of shoplifting sustained minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital. the incident is still ongoing, with authorities examining the potential involvement of other individuals. Dupree noted, “There were about four individuals involved that we are still investigating.”

Kemppainen, who was on duty at the O’Reilly’s store during the incident, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. After posting a $125,000 bond, he was released. If convicted, Kemppainen could face a prison sentence ranging from 109 to 493 months.

Dupree stressed that civilians should not assume the role of law enforcement. “It is the job of law enforcement to police, not anyone else’s,” he said. He also dismissed any racial implications in the incident, stating, “The deceased is African American and the defendant is a white man, but I do not believe that played a role in the act.”