Woman dead after gunman opens fire at Maryland Heights Community Center

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – Terrifying moments at the Maryland Heights Community Center Monday evening after a gunman shot and killed a woman inside the facility. That gunman was shot and seriously wounded during a shootout with a police officer, who is being hailed a hero.

The shooting occurred just after 8 p.m.

Maryland Heights Police Chief Bill Carson said the gunman and the victim were coworkers at the community center.

The victim worked in the reception area as a supervisor and was identified as 45-year-old Maria Lucas from Olivette.

Carson said Lucas was shot in the head and died at the scene.

Carson did not release the name of the gunman but said he’s 30 years old and was a part-time janitor at the facility.

Carson revealed the suspect had been sent home for a disciplinary reason and was angry about it. The suspect had engaged in a brief conversation with Lucas before shooting her with a 9mm handgun.

Moments after the shooting, another woman ran outside and told an on-duty Maryland Heights police officer who was in the parking lot that shots had been fired inside the building.

The community center on McKelvey Road is a police substation and the officer had just finished filling out a report inside.

Carson said the officer radioed for assistance but not wait for back up.

Instead, the officer, who had been out of the academy for 14 months, immediately went inside. Chief Carson said the gunman confronted the officer right away and began shooting at the officer.

The officer fired back, striking the suspect.

Carson said the suspect is listed in serious condition.

The suspect had worked for the city of Maryland Heights for less than three years.

The officer was not hit and nobody else was hurt.

Carson said there were no other suspects.

Police are reviewing surveillance video of the incident, Carson said.

Maria Lucas

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