ST. LOUIS, MO — Police are investigating a homicide that took place at 9th and Pine on Friday morning. A man was shot and killed around 11 a.m. about a block north of the City Garden St. Louis in the middle of the business district.
“We heard three shots then a customer came in and told us people were ducking behind cars so we ran to the back and locked the door,” said a woman who works at a nearby business.
Bike officers were only a few doors away in a police substation. They heard the shots and quickly responded. They encountered an armed suspect and were able to take him into custody shortly after the shooting. They also discovered the body of a man near the scene.
Detectives said the shooter and victim have had disagreements in the past and that the two men frequent the Mark Twain hotel, known as a safe haven for transients. The men were arguing over another acquaintance when the shooting broke out.
“They were arguing over a mutual acquaintance and they are affiliated with the Mark Twain Hotel which is kind of a low-income residential hotel downtown here,” said St. Louis Police Major Mary Warnecke.
The gunman was arrested by the bike officers without incident.
“What I heard, the man got jumped yesterday and he was defending himself today,” said Tony Neal, who works downtown.
One shot went through a hair salon window, through a mannequin inside the shop and into a door jam.
People who work for major companies in the area and people who live downtown say a homicide is not common.
“This is surprising. It doesn’t scare me. I’m comfortable living downtown,” said Colleen Dempsey Dotson, who has lived downtown for two years.
This is the third homicide downtown in 2018. This is 114th homicide this year. There were eleven more murders in the same time period in 2017.
The identities of the suspect and victim have not been released at this time.