WELLSTON, Mo. – The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated Tuesday after a noted local boxer was gunned down on the street outside his home in Wellston.
Officers with the North County Police Cooperative were called to the 1500 block of Ben McLemore III Place after 12 p.m.
Investigators say the victim is 43-year-old Kelly Wright. The victim’s sister, Marissa Wright, said he’s a well-known St. Louis athlete; a former Golden Gloves National Champion boxer in the mid-1990s. He is a product of Eskridge High School.
Wright said he was the father of three girls and had a granddaughter.
Police and witnesses told FOX 2 he was on foot in the street outside his home on Ben McLemore Place when there was a sudden barrage of gunfire. We counted at least 20 evidence markers in the street indicating shell casings.
People took cover in their homes and yards when they heard the shooting; a car sped away from the scene after the gunfire. The victim died at the scene.
“He was a homeowner,” Wright said. “The only thing he did was go to work, get off work. He loved family. He loved to be with his family. He didn’t deserve this. I’m praying the person who did this is brought to justice.”
Captain Ray Juengst Deputy Commander of the Major Case Squad said police were nearby from where the incident occurred, but it was too late.
“(Police) were actually literally around the corner from where the shots were fired. When they arrived on scene they found Mr. Wright laying in the street,” said Juengst. “It’s especially hard when you lose someone in the community. This one was considered a community figure by everyone we talked to. He really was a standup person. This is another example of senseless violence.”
Fellow boxer Devon Alexander met Wright in the ring at what was then the Savvis Center in downtown St. Louis in 2005. Alexander won.
“I was happy to share the ring the with him. At least I got a piece of history with him. It’s just sad … after we fought, he was one of the nicest, humblest persons,” Alexander said.
Wright’s death came less than 3 weeks after his sister, Marissa Wright, lost another brother, Damond Jones, in Jefferson City.
“To gun violence … both of them, good guys who didn’t do anything but work, work and take care of their families,” she lamented.
Investigators do not believe the cases are related.
Major Case Squad detectives reported “strong leads” Friday, but wouldn’t state specifics.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Case Squad via the North County Police Cooperative’s Wellston Precinct at 314-553-8000.