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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – The teenager shot and killed by a homeowner while allegedly breaking into the man’s house had been in the news before.  In fact, FOX2 has learned, he was once charged in the case that made the phrase “knockout game” common in St. Louis.

Demetrius Murphy, 15, died Friday morning after he and another teen, Michael Bryant, allegedly tried to break into a man’s home on Tennessee.  Police say the homeowner emerged with a gun.  Bryant ran, but they say Murphy confronted him and was shot and killed.

When it happened, the ears of Matt Quain perked up.  It was back in 2011 that Quain and a friend were walking along Grand, returning from a “beer run” to Schnucks, when they say a group of teens jumped them.   Quain was beaten badly, suffering neck injuries and a broken jaw.  He was discovered bleeding in the street by Mayor Francis Slay and his security guard.

Murphy, just thirteen at the time, was the one identified by Quain as his attacker.  Sources tell Fox 2 that Murphy was headed to trial in the “knockout game” case, but a young witness suddenly refused to testify, forcing the charges to be dropped.

Quain sees what happened to Murphy as part of a circle of violence that needs to be stopped.

“Ya know, I’m not happy that somebody died,” he said Monday.  “I just wish there was more that people could do to put an end to it.  Whatever it takes, more cops, whatever.

“There needs to be more grassroots support to help people keep kids off the street.  Involvement with parents and all like that.”

The second teen, Bryant, is now facing second degree murder charges in Murphy’s death.  Missouri law states that when someone dies in the commission of a felony, any accomplice can be charged with that person’s murder.

The homeowner who shot Murphy is not expected to be charged.

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