Safety concerns after violent attack and deadly shooting at Catholic supply store

WEST ST.LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Sexual assaults and a deadly shooting at the Catholic Supply store on Manchester Road had Scott Cool, an employee at 1/2 of 1/2 Name Brand Clothing, making sure, that he and a co-worker walked together to their cars.

"You have to first think about the people who are in your vicinity and make sure that everybody is ok," Cool said, "one of our female employees was very much shaken up.”

St. Louis County Police said that around 3:20 p.m. Monday, a man believed to be between 45 to 50 years old, shot a woman and sexually assaulted several other persons. The 53-year-old shooting victim later died at a nearby hospital. As of late evening, the suspect had not been located and was considered armed and dangerous. Police also believe that the suspect and victim did not know each other.

Cool said that he is shocked at how such a violent crime could happen just four units down, forcing his store to shut down much earlier than usual.

“You don’t see this kind of stuff happening in this particular area especially an incident of this magnitude," said Cool.

Patrick Ayers works at the same store and said that as soon as police blocked off the parking lot, business slowed down.

"Obviously there is a bigger concern than shopping here but it does affect a mom and pop business like us," said Ayers.

Chuck Gwill said he was sitting inside the Hotshots Sports and Bar Grill when he noticed police cars rushing into the parking lot.

“It’s been scary," said Gwill, "it never happens out here in West County, so we are all on pins and needles.”

Fox 2 was not able to immediately confirm if businesses that shut down early would be back to normal hours Tuesday.