ST. LOUIS – One of the suspects arrested for Saturday’s shooting on Cherokee Street has been released from jail with no charges.
One business owner caught up in the violence voiced her frustration and is now taking steps to protect her staff and customers.
On Friday night, two men were shot in front of a business meant for healing.
“It’s a safe space for beautiful souls to seek refuges and heal spiritually, and they broke our boundary,” said Brittany Morris, the owner of Love Goddess Healing Oasis.
She set up a GoFundMe to raise money to buy bullet-proof windows.
“There have been multiple fights, shootouts, robberies, murders, and other acts of violence that have occurred at this bar and spilled over to my business, leaving us with damages and fearing for our lives,” Morris said.
Until then, she is shutting down her business. Almost 24 hours later, down the street during the popular Cinco de Mayo Festival, an argument resulted in gunshots. A bullet grazed a man’s thigh, and one woman was shot in the leg.
“People with strollers and kids running into a business, and me and the rest of my coworkers got scared,” said Hannia Chapa, an employee on Cherokee Street. “So we started running as well; it was just a bunch of chaos.”
One woman seen on surveillance cameras with a gun was arrested, but later charges were dropped, and she was released from jail. Investigators suggested assault and armed criminal action charges, but on Wednesday, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office refused to press charges, citing a lack of evidence and the victim not cooperating.
“None of these businesses are protected; we all have insurance, but we’re not protected, so we need the protection,” Morris said. “We know the violence is going to happen, but what are you guys doing to protect us?”
The Circuit Attorney’s Office declined an interview, instead saying the following:
“We are working closely with police on this ongoing investigation. We cannot comment further at this time.”
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department continues to search for a second person of interest. Police said the second suspect is a man, around 5’8″ to 5’10” tall, with long braided hair. During the shooting, he was wearing a Cardinals jersey with a white undershirt, light blue jeans with horizontal tears at the knees, and white tennis shoes.
Anyone with additional information on this investigation should contact SLMPD at 314-444-5371.