A Missourisister left devastated by the slaying of her younger brother allegedly tracked down his suspected murderer and killed him just days later.
Tityana Coppage has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 36-year-old Keith Lars, according to a press release from the Jackson County Prosecutors office. Police on Tuesday told KCTV they believe the 21-year-old suspect wanted revenge in the killing of her little brother, 16-year-old Jason Ugwuh.
The teen was fatally shot on Jan. 10, making him the third juvenile homicide victim in the family in recent years. His aunt, Aishah Coppage, told KSHB that her son, 8-year-old Montell Ross, and nephew, 9-year-old Jayden Ugwuh, were killed in 2016 while playing video games. Authorities believed the shooting to be targeted, but that the children were not the intended victims.
According to court records, Coppage confessed to investigators that she knew where Lars would be on Jan. 13 and then followed him to a parking lot, where she allegedly fired at a vehicle he was in at the time. Authorities said at least one of the passengers returned fire and that 23 shell casings were discovered on the scene.
The victim’s brother tried to drive him to the hospital but stopped in the street after only a short amount of time to call for help. Responding medical crews worked to save the man, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Police said he had been shot in the chest and leg.
Authorities were able to track down the black Ford Escape used in the shooting thanks to witness accounts and surveillance footage. She admitted to officers that she was involved in the gunfire exchange but denied firing first.
According to an arrest affidavit, a review of Coppage’s cellphone turned up texts to a contact named “Auntie,” asking for .45-caliber bullets and saying, “LOL I sued to many on bro.” She also sent a text to her dead brother’s phone saying, “Sent a [expletive] to my brother I owe em that body.”
Coppage was being held Thursday on $200,000 bond.