73-year-old homeowner shoots and kills south St. Louis burglars

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The men killed during a south St. Louis break-in Tuesday have been identified. Jonathan Warren, 18, of Florissant and Lonnie Middlebrook, 20, of Ferguson were shot and killed by a 73-year-old man in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. They were suspects in an attempted burglary.

Police say they arrived in the 4100 block of Taft for a report of a shooting after 4pm Tuesday. They found two men lying at the entrance door of a detached garage. They each had a gunshot wound and were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 73-year-old man told police that he shot the suspects after they attempted to rob him. Investigators say that the man was inside of his garage when the suspects entered the door and displayed their guns. Police say that one of the suspects held a gun to the victim’s head and demanded the victim back up.

The victim said he got out his gun and, fearing for his safety, shot at the men. Police say that the victim’s gun and the guns used by the suspects were recovered from the scene. The gun recovered from Jonathan Warren was reported stolen on Sunday by the Florissant Police Department.

Neighbors tell FOX 2 that the Bevo neighborhood is a close-knit community and are shaken by the fatal shooting in their neighborhood. They also call the robbery victim a kind man who has lived in the neighborhood for a long time with his wife. They say the 73- year-old man would work hours on his truck in his garage and would help those in need in the community.

“He’s been retired for 10 to 15 years and very active. I will probably double-check our cameras in the back and make sure they are working,” said Ron Pratt

Residents say the elderly man had been the victim of robbery attempts in the past.

Police believe the 73-year-old man’s action were well within Missouri law.  Captain Warnecke said, “It would appear that this is justifiable.”

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