ST. LOUIS – The man accused of a broad daylight execution-style killing in downtown St. Louis pleaded not guilty in St. Louis Circuit Court on Tuesday.
DeShawn Thomas, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of David Saldana.
The shooting happened around 10 a.m. on Feb. 27 along Tucker Boulevard, in front of the former Globe-Democrat newspaper building.
The incident was captured on surveillance cameras and cellphone video, and shared millions of times across social media.
According to court documents, Thomas and Saldana got into an altercation at the Shell station at Tucker and Convention Plaza. Police claim Thomas first shot Saldana in the back as he ran across Tucker and, as Saldana begged for his life, Thomas shot him in the head. Saldana was 46.
Thomas was arrested later that day at the St. Louis Public Library, which is about six blocks from the murder scene. He’s been in custody ever since.
Thomas, through his attorney, waived the formal reading of the indictment and entered a “not guilty” plea. Judge Lynne Perkins scheduled another pre-trial hearing for the morning of Friday, June 9.