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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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