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

In Kansas City, Kansas, a 39-year-old man faces charges of second-degree murder following the death of a suspected shoplifter. Carl Kemppainen, an employee at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, was arrested after a fatal altercation with 23-year-old Diamond Steen.

The incident occurred at the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store on Parallel Parkway, where police were dispatched following reports of a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers discovered that two men had allegedly attempted to shoplift from the store, leading to a physical confrontation with store employees. The altercation resulted in the death of one of the suspected shoplifters, later identified as Diamond Steen of Kansas City, Missouri.

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

The second suspected shoplifter sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The investigation is ongoing, with authorities looking into the involvement of other individuals in the incident. “There were about four individuals involved that we are still investigating,” Dupree said.

Kemppainen, who was working at the O’Reilly’s store at the time of the incident, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He was released after posting a $125,000 bond. Kemppainen could face between 109 to 493 months in prison.

Dupree emphasized that the role of law enforcement should not be taken over by civilians. “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.”