ST. LOUIS (AP) — An argument inside a St. Louis home health care business escalated into gun violence Thursday when a man shot three other people before turning the gun on himself, police said.
The shooting occurred at AK Home Health Care LLC, one several small businesses inside the Cherokee Place Business Incubator south of downtown St. Louis. The shooter gunned down another man and two women before turning his semi-automatic handgun on himself, Police Capt. Michael Sack said.
Authorities said the shooter either owned or was a co-owner of the small business and his three victims were employees.
“We don’t know if this was a thing that carried over into today or was initiated today,” Sack told reporters.
Police said surveillance video showed what appeared to be a verbal dispute, followed a short time later by gunshots penetrating an inside wall. The video showed that no one else had gone into the building other than the four people who were killed, the St. Louis Police Department said in details posted on its official Twitter account.
An employee of another business in the building heard gunshots and called police. Other businesses in the building include an attorney’s office and an African bazaar.
The victims’ names have not been released, but Sack said they appeared to be in their early-40s to mid-50s in age.
A woman who showed up about two hours after the shooting began sobbing loudly when she saw the police scene and was comforted by onlookers and police. A neighborhood woman translated the woman’s outbursts for reporters, saying the woman was worried that a relative was inside the building.
Abdi Salam Elmi, an immigrant from Somalia who drives a cab in St. Louis, said he was close to all four of the dead in Thursday’s shooting. He described them as hardworking, friendly people.
“They always smile for me. This is my worst day in my life. It’s a very, very sad day for us and a very sad day for the city of St. Louis.”
St. Louis has long struggled with urban violence, but the last week has seen a troublesome uptick in bloodshed. Police scrambled late Monday and early Tuesday to respond to five different shootings on the city’s north side that left 15 people wounded.
Elmi said as a cab driver he sees too much violence in the city and he’s concerned about the recent shootings. “I feel the same as I did when I left Somalia,” he said, referring to the war-torn African country.
Meant to be a nurturer of startup businesses, the Cherokee Place Business Incubator dates back at least a decade in a once-thriving business section about a five minutes’ drive from downtown.
Big retailers later shifted to the suburbs. But that part of town, which has a strong Latino flair, has regained solid footing. New street lighting complimenting welcomed police responsiveness has helped make it safe, according to Jason Deem, a board member and former president of the Cherokee Street Business Association.
Deem called Thursday’s bloodshed “a very unfortunate situation for Cherokee” but not reflective of the area as a whole.
“It’s not like this type of thing goes on down here. This is very much a shock to us,” he said. “Everything police are telling us leads us to believe it was a targeted incident and not some random act of violence.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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