ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A man who survived Friday’s deadly home explosion on Parker Road in north St. Louis County is mourning the loss of his family members and friends killed in the incident.
Diamonte Cooks remembered all four victims as “fun-loving, caring people.” The victims include Cook’s brother, 18-year-old Damario Cooks, his cousin 16-year-old Travell Eason, and his friends 21-year-old William Jones and 17-year-old Christopher Jones.
Cooks said a vigil will be held in front of the burned-out home near Parker Road and North Ranch Drive from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m Wednesday. A tower of balloons and flowers is growing at the site. Some community members have also been dropping off donations for victims.
“People have been praying over us, donating money, clothes, just really looking out for us in this hard time,” said Cooks.
On Tuesday night, family members camped out around the home that will eventually be demolished. Cooks said the campout is a display of the family’s dissatisfaction with charges filed in the case.
Terrell Cooks and Seneca Mahan face multiple charges, including second-degree murder. Investigators allege the two men directed the victims to create explosive powder from fireworks, leading to the explosions. Surviving family members do not believe the charges are warranted.
“They didn’t do it at all,” said Cooks. “Even if they did, you know, it would never be intentional. They always looked out for us throughout our whole lives.”
He said Wednesday’s vigil will be a tribute to the victims.