At approximately 11:16 a.m. this morning, a gunman open fired on a pair of Laclede Gas employees in what police are describing as a random act of violence. The shooter then turned the gun on himself.
The shooting occurred in north St. Louis' Hamilton Heights neighborhood, in the 5900 block of Minerva Avenue, just east of Wellston. According to police, one of the workers was in his twenties, the other in his fifties. Two men were pronounced dead at the scene; a third passed at a local hospital. It is unclear at this time whether the person who died at the hospital was the shooter or a victim.
A witness, Manyik McCoy, 37, was outside with her two young children and nephew, all ages two to four, when the shooting happened. She tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
that she did not hear the gunman speak before, during or after the shooting.
She did hear one of the victims speak, however.
"He was saying, 'Wait, wait,' and the guy just kept shooting at him," McCoy says. The victim then collapsed in the street. McCoy estimates that she heard a total of six shots fired. She says she did not recognize the shooter.
"My heart goes out to the victims and their families," McCoy says. "Words can't express my feelings right now."
In a statement, Laclede Gas mourned the loss of its employees.
"We are shocked and grieving today after two of our Laclede Gas employees were shot and killed this morning at one of our job sites," the company said. "We are connecting with their loved ones now. And, we are working with police to understand more about this crisis. We are heartbroken, as you can imagine, and ask that you hold these employees, their families, their friends, Laclede Gas workers and our communities in your thoughts and prayers.”