Multiple fatal shootings, including one that claimed the life of a sixteen-year-old girl, have been linked to a 25-year-old man who is now facing a bevy of charges in St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Arrested Saturday by an FBI task force, Perez Reed has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action and another count of assault in St. Louis County; in the City of St. Louis, police are applying for two additional murder charges.
Reed's arrest comes nearly two months after both St. Louis and St. Louis County police departments issued a public plea for information about a series of fatal shootings
. The initial release of details sparked local worry — and a viral TikTok video
— about the possibility of a serial killer targeting sex workers and Black women in St. Louis.
During the joint press conference on September 20, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Major Shawn Dace disclosed that while investigators hadn't identified a single perpetrator, "We’ve just got some evidence that would indicate that the same perpetrator or perpetrators may be involved in these incidents. " At the time, he said there wasn't enough information to describe the killings as "serial" in nature.
Now, "suspected serial killer" is how the FBI is describing Reed and the effects of the carnage he's allegedly wrought across the state's two largest metropolitan areas.
During a Monday press conference, Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn of the FBI praised the work of local and federal law enforcement in connecting the dots between multiple crime scenes.
"I believe we did good," Quinn said. "I believe we took a violent predator off the street."
Speaking to reporters, Lieutenant Craig Longworth of St. Louis County police said that there are no known connections between Reed's victims, saying, "These appear to be random acts."
But Reed's alleged methods weren't so random. Charging documents filed by St. Louis County say that two victims were shot "in the same distinctive manner" — however, when asked to elaborate during Monday's press conference, Longworth said he could not provide further details, other than noting that Reed "definitely had a distinctive manner in which he did it" and that, among the six murder victims, "the modus was the same."
Reed was arrested in Independence on Friday, November 5, as he traveled from Kansas City to St. Louis — a trip he took after allegedly murdering two people in the same Kansas City apartment building. Reed is now in federal custody facing a charge of transporting a firearm across state lines with intent to commit a felony.
Earlier on Monday, the FBI released an affidavit describing some of the evidence in the case. It revealed that Reed was arrested in possession of a .40 caliber pistol, the same caliber as the casings investigators recovered at the scenes of six killings since September.
In St. Louis County, Reed has already been charged in two killings featured prominently in the September 20 press conference, including the September 13 murder of sixteen-year-old Marnay Hayes. Reed is also facing a murder charge in St. Louis County for the September 26 killing of Lester Robinson.
While charges in the city have not yet been formally filed, the department said Monday in a press release that detectives intend to seek murder charges in the September 16 homicide of Pamela Abercrombie and the September 19 homicides of Casey Ross.
City detectives will also apply for assault charges related to a second incident from September 16, in which a 28-year-old Black woman was shot in the face and transported to a hospital "in stable condition."
Court records from a previous criminal case show Reed listed an address in Bellefontaine Neighbors. His mugshot, provided by the St. Louis County prosecutor's office, shows a crescent moon-style tattoo in the middle of his forehead, a distinctive mark which the FBI says helped identify Reed on surveillance video in Kansas City.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at [email protected]
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