WARNING: The story contains disturbing details.
WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - St. Louis County Police have confirmed that a 53-year-old woman shot at a Catholic Supply store has died. Police say around 3:20 pm Monday multiple sexual assaults and a shooting happened at the Catholic Supply store in a shopping center near the intersection of Manchester Road and Weidman Road in west St. Louis County.
There is a heavy police presence at the scene. St. Louis County Police confirm they were called to the scene at about 3:20pm for a shooting and that one woman was shot. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Police also confirm that at least one woman was sexually assaulted. The suspect is NOT in custody. St. Louis County Police say that the victims did not know the suspect.
Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are reporting that a 911 caller reported that the shooter went inside the store and ordered all of the women inside to strip at gunpoint, sexually assaulted several of them, then shot one of them in the head.
Police are looking for a white man, 5’7”, age 40 - 50 years-old, with a heavy build wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and a large belt. The suspect was also wearing a black or gray hat. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Police are not sure if he left the scene on foot or in a vehicle.
Please contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210 to speak to investigators. To remain anonymous, contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS(8477).
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson released the following statement:
Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy at Catholic Supply. We are praying for these victims, especially the victim in critical condition at this time. We join with civil authorities asking for the community’s assistance in apprehending the culprit of this crime.
Catholic Supply of St. Louis, Inc. is a Catholic family-owned and operated retail store chain that serves people and parishes in and around St. Louis, and all over the world via their website. They operate three St. Louis-area locations: in St. Louis Hills, O’Fallon, and Manchester, Missouri.
Statement from Dan Stutte, President, Catholic Supply:
“We are shocked and saddened by the events that occurred at our West County location Monday afternoon. This was a senseless tragedy. Please join us as we pray for the victims and their families.
The safety and security of our employees and customers is our highest priority. Our retail locations will be closed for business on Tuesday and will reopen on Wednesday.
We are cooperating fully with the ongoing police investigation, and we will share details as appropriate. We appreciate your patience, grace and prayers during this difficult time.”