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Teenager charged as adult in Jefferson City shooting

A Jefferson City teenager has been certified as an adult in the fatal shooting of a corrections officer.

Jahuan D. Whirley, 16, was charged Thursday in Cole County with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of unlawful use of a weapon in the shooting death of Justin Kammerich, 33.

Investigators said Kammerich was one of two men found suffering from gunshot wounds late Dec. 12 near apartments on West Atchison Street in Jefferson City. A 20-year-old man was shot in addition to Kammerich, but he survived.

Kammerich was a corrections officer working at the state prison in Jefferson City, but it isn’t clear whether his job had anything to do with the shooting.

The man who survived the shooting told police he and Kammerich were outside their apartments talking when a person with a gun told them to hand over their money, wallets and phones, according to a probable cause statement in the case. The shooting survivor told police the man shot him and Kammerich before they handed over their property, the statement said.

Police matched a gun found in Whirley’s home with the weapon used at the crime scene, the statement said. Investigators also found clothing in Whirley’s room that matched clothing witnesses said the shooter was wearing, according to the statement.

“With this particular case, we reviewed it,” Cole County juvenile court administrator Michael Couty said outside the hearing Thursday morning. “We were very careful in going over it. And because of the serous and heinousness of the situation we did recommend certification.”

Whirley told police he heard the shots from his home and walked to the crime scene to find out what happened, according to the statement.

Whirley was arraigned Thursday and jailed without bond, according to online court documents.

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