Suspect told witness he would visit victim ahead of deadly Prairie Village shooting: court documents


PRAIRIE VILLAGE. Kan. — An Iowa man charged with killing a 70-year-old Prairie Village man had temporarily been living at the victim’s apartment, according to court documents FOX4 received on Wednesday.

According to a Johnson County court affidavit, witnesses recalled seeing Michael Balance living with John Hoffman temporarily for about two years before Hoffman was shot and killed at his apartment on May 1, 2021.

Several neighbors said they heard gunshots coming from Hoffman’s apartment, and tried to reach him by phone to check on him.

Prairie Village police have arrested a suspect in the Saturday evening homicide

Balance was seen leaving the apartment and did not react to attempts to get his attention.

Documents show that Balance was in Iowa on the Thursday before Hoffman’s death and told Hoffman he was suicidal.

Hoffman said he would go check on him in Iowa, but on Friday, but Balance told him he was at his apartment.

Investigators spoke with one witness who was known to be associated with Balance and said that he had spoken with him two weeks prior.

Upon review of the messages between the witness and Balance, he told the witness that he was in Prairie Village and was going to visit Hoffman. Investigators saw one message that read: “Im visiting John one last time not much too say & feel real f*****… But had lots of help getting to this point in my life can’t blame no one but self (sic).”

Another message from Balance said in part: “Oh well too late for a miracle.”

Witnesses who saw Balance leave Hoffman’s apartment after hearing shots said his behavior was strange, he ducked as someone called his name before getting into a red Pontiac G6 and taking off fast.

Prairie Village neighbors devastated by murder of 70-year-old, a pillar in community

During the investigation, one witness recalled an incident from a year prior when Balance arrived at the witness’ apartment looking to speak with Hoffman.

The witness said Balance was going through a mental health crisis, was crying, and said Hoffman had been stalking him. Balance said he was going to shoot Hoffman.

He said he had a gun on him, but did not show it and was clearly intoxicated. Balance was known to “self-medicate” with alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Balance is scheduled to appear in court on August 18.

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