Construction worker fatally shot at job site by man seeking cigarette, police say; suspect still at large

Authorities in Kansas City, Mo., were still searching Wednesday for a man who fatally shot a construction worker who reportedly couldn't meet the passerby's request for a cigarette.

Police released a photo of a person of interest: a black male, about 25 to 30 years old and wearing a dark-colored hoodie with gray pants. A preliminary investigation indicated the shooting was random.

The victim, Johnathon Porter, 23, was at a work site early Tuesday when he told the man he didn’t smoke and asked him to leave the area, witnesses told FOX4 Kansas City. The suspect began to leave, but then he suddenly turned around and yelled, “Y’all don’t have to lie to me,” and fired seven or eight shots toward the crew.

jonathon porter

Johnathon Porter, 23, was fatally shot in the chest while working at a construction site on Tuesday.  (Facebook)

Porter, a sub-contractor with the company InfraSource, was struck in the chest and died after being taken to a hospital, police said.

“We are deeply saddened today after one of our InfraSource employees was shot and killed this morning while working on a construction site in Kansas City, Missouri, for our customer, Spire,” a statement from his employer said.

Both InfraSource and Spire shut down their work sites after the shooting and sent crews home, FOX4 reported.

Porter and his fiancée had recently moved from Nebraska to be closer to their family, the Kansas City Star reported. The couple was expecting their first child next month.

"I just hate the fact that he's never going to be able to hold her," his mother, Lindy Porter, told the paper.

Anyone who can help police identify the man is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. All calls are anonymous, and there is a reward.