ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged the man who shot and killed a father of four earlier this month at a Show-Me's restaurant.
The shooter, identified as 54-year-old Neal Myers from Bellefontaine Neighbors, was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and two counts of armed criminal action. Myers was initially booked on a second-degree murder charge after the shooting but later released. He's not in police custody at present.
The victim, Scott Beary, was shot and killed February 7. Beary and a coworker stopped at the Florissant Show-Me's for lunch while waiting for a work truck to get fixed when a conversation with some other patrons suddenly escalated.
Witnesses told police the shooting was spurred by a discussion over the size of a dog. Beary and his friend were having a friendly chat with a man who owned a dog and the dog owner's friend, who would become the shooting suspect. The friend reportedly claimed that the dog weighed 290 pounds, and Beary said he didn't believe it.
The disagreement wasn't very heated, however, and Beary had even exchanged phone numbers with the gunman after the two talked about possible construction jobs earlier. Finally, Beary and his friend got up to leave and, as Beary was walking by the suspect, a witness said he talked to the shooter to express there were no hard feelings on the disagreement.
As Beary got to the exit, Myers twice called Beary a foul name, all while having his hand on his firearm. Beary then turned around and walked towards the suspect. Myers allegedly pulled the firearm from his pocket when Beary raised his hand to punch Myers. Beary punched Myers, who then opened fire.
Beary was struck five times. Beary's coworker was also wounded but attempted to revive Beary, who died at the scene.
Beary died just days after burying a daughter born premature at 22 weeks.