28-year-old charged with murder in Applebee’s triple shooting

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged a St. Ann man in connection with a triple shooting Monday night that claimed the life of a 46-year-old mother.

According to investigators, the shooting happened around 9:20 p.m. at the Applebee’s restaurant located in the 9000 block of St. Charles Rock Road. A man walked into the restaurant and opened fire toward a booth where two women were eating. Both women were hit.

Kimberly Ratliffe-Penton was pronounced dead at the scene. The other woman in the booth was rushed to a local hospital. Her injuries were not life-threatening.

Prosecutors said the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Courtney Demond Washington, was eating at the restaurant prior to the shooting. He walked outside the Applebee’s and returned moments later with a gun.

Arlydia Bufford, a Kinloch firefighter, was at the restaurant at the time of the shooting. She was dining with a fire captain after attending an EMT training course, authorities said.

Washington allegedly walked across the restaurant and then opened fire on Bufford as well.

That captain is credited with rendering life-saving first aid as Bufford was rushed to a hospital in a police cruiser.

At this point, the shootings appear to random with nothing to link Washington to three women he allegedly shot.

Mike Gallagher, Director of Operations at Big River Restaurants, an Applebee’s franchisee, released the following statement:

“The safety of our guests and team members is a top priority, and we’re devastated about the guest incident that occurred within our restaurant. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families. We are temporarily closing the restaurant for professional cleaning and to provide team members with counseling resources and expect to reopen later this week. We will continue to cooperate with authorities and due to the ongoing police investigation. We cannot comment further.”

Washington was charged with one count of first degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, and three counts of armed criminal action. He remains in custody at the St. Louis County Jail. His bond was set at $1,000,000 cash-only.

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