RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO- We’re learning more about the innocent bystander who was shot and killed at a bowling alley in Richmond Heights this weekend.
Family and friends are still trying to come to terms with the senseless death of 45-year-old Demetrius Stewart. He was an active member of Alpha phi Alpha and an ordained minister.
“He was a great guy, a great father and a great friend,” says Adam Jones, Alpha Phi Alpha brother and long-time friend.
45-year-old Demetrius Stewart went bowling with some Alpha Phi Alpha brothers at Tropicana lanes in Richmond Heights on Friday night. “The other families that were there are still trying to make sense of this. This was a date night. We are really just trying to bring love back to St. Louis,” says Miranda Jones, a long-time family friend.
There was a fight inside the bowling alley between 24-year-old Dante Lorenzo McGary and another person. It spilled out into the parking lot and that's when police say McGary went to his car and got his gun.
Authorities say he started shooting toward people and saw the man he thought he was fighting with sitting in a vehicle.
Police say McGary went up to him and shot him twice. The man died from his injuries.
It turns out that man was not the man McGary had been fighting with; it was Demetrius Stewart, an innocent bystander.
“You go into that place where you start asking the question of why and the reality is that there is no reason why and we need to focus on helping the family cope with such a tragedy,” says Jones. Demetrius was an associate minister at Westside Missionary Baptist Church. He leaves behind a wife, daughter and son along with so many others he touched.
“It’s amazing to me how strong her resolve is and how she’s handling herself. She knows what she needs to do to take care of her children. I’ve never seen that kind of faithfulness and grace,” says Jones of Stewart's widow, Shantana.
“He graduated from University City High School and also he’s a member of our Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He’s well-known and active in his church. He is involved in the community. He’s one of our major staples in the African-American community.”
McGary is in police custody charged with murder and other counts.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Stewart at Hyde Park at 7pm on Monday. Friends have established a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses and create a memorial scholarship for high school students in Stewart's name.