Man who fatally shot Kansas City businessman acted in self-defense: Prosecutors

Jackson County prosecutors declined to file charges against a man accused of fatally shooting 46-year-old John Bartrom, a local entrepreneur and head of a Kansas City home remodeling company, in January, saying the man who fired a handgun in the incident acted in self-defense.

“The homicide will be declined due to self-defense,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker’s office said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “Evidence showed the man who shot Bartrom fired a handgun after Bartrom struggled with the man and Bartrom tried to pull the man from his vehicle. Jackson County prosecutors came to this legal conclusion in consultation with police detectives.”

Officers responded to a medical call shortly after midnight Jan. 7 in the 6200 block of Prospect Avenue and found Bartrom lying unresponsive in a parking lot. At the time, police said the man appeared to be suffering from a medical emergency, and officers gave aid until he was taken to a hospital. It was later discovered he had been shot, and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Shortly after the shooting, police said they had taken a person of interest into custody.

Bartrom was the founder of Jericho Home Improvements, which touts itself as the “largest custom remodeler in Kansas City.” The company has also highlighted its charitable efforts and work supporting orphaned children.

In a social media post on Wednesday, the company acknowledged Bartrom’s death: “Our hearts are heavy, but our mission is unchanged,” company president Alec Burton said in a video posted on Facebook. “John’s priorities are still our priorities: customers, employees and orphaned and abandoned children. I am now leading Jericho into the future, and the heart of Jericho still beats on.”

The Star’s Andrea Klick and Kendrick Calfee contributed reporting.