ST. PETERS, Mo. – The investigation is expanding into the apparent random shooting of a 52-year-old woman in a St. Peters grocery store parking lot.
Though police still don’t know the identity of the suspect, investigators are already looking into a possible connection to other crimes.
It was a robbery attempt so quick, it boggles area shoppers’ minds. Police say the victim’s husband was loading their trunk with groceries when, suddenly, someone was struggling with his wife in the front passenger seat and then shot her in the face.
“I was shocked, because this is a very peaceful, quiet neighborhood, but I’m hoping they catch them,” shopper Cathy Burbank said. “I’m praying for the lady that she pulls through.”
Sgt. Melissa Doss, a spokeswoman for the St. Peters Police Department, said it appears the victim and shooter did not know one another, and called it a “crime of opportunity.”
“We really haven’t been able to get a lot of information from our victim at this time while she’s recovering from her injuries,” she said. “We assume it was a robbery attempt, but they did not get away with anything. So, we don’t know if it was for the vehicle or what was on her person?”
It happened at about 8 p.m. Friday. Police say they are looking for a Black male with a medium build, who was wearing light-gray sweatpants, a light-gray hoodie with a red shirt underneath, and black sneakers. Police believe he then got into a newer model silver Hyundai SUV with other people inside.
“Unfortunately in this case, we don’t have a good plate on the car to be able to tell us whether it was a stolen vehicle or not,” Doss said.
Police are not only checking surveillance cameras on that lot, but they’re also branching out to other businesses to determine where the care came from and where it went.
“We’re working with other police departments as well, to see if maybe this car was in their area if they have related crimes with the same descriptions,” Doss said.
St. Peters has the added advantage of the St. Charles County Stolen Car Task Force, which is dedicated to tracking stolen cars coming in and out of the area.
“Hopefully, they see a car that was here and that pulled out and one of the security cameras can find that, and hopefully nail ‘em,” shopper Bart Thornhill said.
Cathy Burbank said, “We have to use the laws we have and prosecute to the fullest extent so people will not think they can get off easy.”
As of Monday, a Schnucks spokesperson said store management is doing everything it can to support the police investigation.
FOX 2 is monitoring progress by investigators and hope to have an update soon.