KANSAS CITY, Mo. – United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Tammy Dickinson, announced that today two men were charged in federal court for the armed robbery of a Walgreens in Blue Springs, Mo., which resulted in the fatal shooting of a third suspect by law enforcement officers.

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According to a news release, Shannon R. Thomas, 25, of Shawnee, Kan., and Deonte J. Collins-Abbott, 21, of Grandview, Mo., were charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.

Today’s criminal complaint charges Thomas and Collins-Abbott with the armed robbery of Walgreens located at 9th and Duncan in Blue Springs. The two were also charged with aiding and abetting each other possess a firearm during a crime of violence.

As stated in an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Thomas and Collins-Abbott were under surveillance by law enforcement as part of an investigation into a series of 21 armed robberies of businesses in Independence, Mo., Raytown, Mo., North Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., that have been occurring since January 2, 2016. The affidavit says in all of these robberies, the suspects have consistently displayed handguns in a threatening manner and behaved in a physically violent and aggressive fashion toward their victims, including shooting one victim March 15, 2016, at the Conoco located at 4656 Prospect Ave., Kansas City, Mo. The robberies appear to have been committed consistently by at least four suspects who appear in surveillance video in most of the incidents.

Early this morning, law enforcement officers witnessed Collins-Abbott leaving his apartment and traveling to the apartment of Jermon Seals in Shawnee. According to the affidavit, when Collins-Abbott and Seals left the apartment, they were dressed in all black clothing and appeared to be holding handguns. They left in Seals’s 2001 BMW X5 SUV, eventually stopping to pick up Thomas.

At approximately 3:09 a.m., they stopped at the Phillips 66 at 1005 N.W. Coronodo Dr. in Blue Springs, entered the business, and quickly left. The affidavit states they had attempted to rob the business.

They then drove to the area of 9th and Duncan in Blue Springs. According to the affidavit, they left the vehicle and walked up to the Walgreens, where they confronted an employee who was outside and forced the employee inside at gunpoint. Once inside, one of the robbers placed a firearm to the back of the employee’s head and took money from the register. The other two robbers went over the pharmacy counter and took prescription grade cough syrup at gunpoint from the pharmacist. They then exited the business.

Law enforcement confronted them as they were walking back to the vehicle. They failed to comply with the officer’s commands and turned towards the officers, pointing a gun in their direction. Officers returned fire and Seals was struck. Collins-Abbott and Thomas were apprehended by officers after a short pursuit on foot.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Independence, Mo., Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Caine.