ST. LOUIS – A security camera captured car thief suspects exchanging gunfire with a homeowner in a south St. Louis neighborhood.
Police said the armed resident confronted four suspects who broke into multiple vehicles in the 4000 block of Castleman. Two of the suspects then opened fire. Authorities said the resident feared for his safety and shot back.
A neighbor, Robert Santos, said the gunfire broke out near his house.
“Some folks were trying to break into cars. Someone came out to holler at them. They shot at him, and he returned fire,” said Santos. “And chaos ensued.”
Santos said he served active duty in the Air Force for eight years. He has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years.
“I was in Afghanistan, and I don’t think a bullet came that close to me,” said Santos. “I was only a few feet away from where it struck that wall. It scared me pretty good. Now, there is a chunk of brick missing out of the side of my house where it meets the window and room I was in. So that’s pretty scary.”
Police said the suspects broke into multiple vehicles and shot out some of the windows. One resident, who did not want to be identified, said his car was hit.
“I woke up to gunshots, and after checking the camera, I saw this car was getting broken into,” the resident said. “And that’s when gunshots started going off. Police got here, came outside, and saw my truck had been shot.”
A 14-year-old resident said the suspects also fired shots at him as well. Police said the suspects fled the area and that no one was injured.
The four suspects remain at large. Authorities are encouraging anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477).