ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Authorities have identified victims of two deadly St. Louis County shootings Friday, one linked to road rage and another that unfolded at a business.
The St. Louis County Police Department reports that Benjamin Merritt, 34, of High Ridge, Missouri, died in the road rage shooting, and Justin Welch, 35, of Florissant, Missouri, died in the business shooting.
Suspects have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in both cases. Robert Mulkey, 53, of Crystal City, Missouri, and Nolan-Ryan Thomas, 31, of St. Louis, are accused in the shootings.
Police first responded to the road rage shooting around 8 a.m. Friday in south St. Louis County, near the Gravois Bluffs at Highway 141. Investigators say they stopped their vehicles on the road and got into an argument.
Court documents allege that Merritt flicked a cigarette at Mulkey before he tried to return to the vehicle. Merritt was shot in the back and quickly rushed to the hospital for treatment, but he later died from his injuries.
Mulkey remained on scene after the shooting prior to his arrest.
Hours later, officers responded to a shooting at a north St. Louis County business in the 11600 block of West Florissant Avenue.
Court documents allege that Welch and Thomas ended up in a verbal argument that reportedly led to Thomas throwing punches and firing shots. Police found Welch suffering from a gunshot wound. He was rushed to a hospital for treatment, but later died from his injuries.
Police say eyewitnesses were present in both shootings. FOX 2 exclusively spoke to one from the road rage shooting who recalled hearing gunshot noises and frantic screaming.