PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
Lt. John Green and interim Chief Lawrence O'Toole brief the media on four recent homicides.
Two gunman stormed into a north city house early this morning, chased three women outside and killed them as the victims tried to take cover in a car, police say.
Officers found the women, all in their mid twenties, lying on top of one another as if they had been trying to hide. One man who had been with them in the house escaped by running away, police say.
The killers are on the loose.
"They just riddled the car," Lt. John Green of the city's homicide division told reporters. "I didn't count the the holes."
It happened about 3 a.m. in the Fairgrounds neighborhood in what has become the city's bloodiest year in more than two decades. Just hours earlier, St. Louis police had investigated the 200th homicide of 2017 after a 25-year-old was gunned down in a market.
"I think about the families," Green says. "Damn, this is around Christmas. That's what gets you."
The women — Reeba Moore, 25; Dominique Lewis, 24, and Chanice White, 24 — were victims 201, 202 and 203. The women were friends, Green said. At least two of them were asleep when the gunman kicked in the backdoor.
All three bolted out of the front door, along with an unnamed 32-year-old man. The man kept running, but the women jumped into Moore's Buick LeSabre. Green said it seems as if they thought they would be safe in there, but the two shooters found them and unloaded.
Neighbors near the two-family house in the 4200 block of John Avenue heard the sound of gunfire and called police. Officers discovered the gruesome scene when they arrived. The shell casings of two different calibers of bullets were scattered across the ground.
The surviving 32-year-old wasn't shot, and police say he is cooperating with detectives. But a motive for the shooting remain a mystery, Green says. Detectives checked the victims' records and have yet to find anything that suggests why they may have been chosen by their killers.
"We have no other leads," Green said. "We need the public's help."
Police have more clues in the previous evening's killing. Mialik Donelson, 25, was shot about 6:45 p.m. inside the New Way Market, 5457 Page Boulevard, and collapsed on the floor. He died later in a hospital.
"He knew the suspect that killed him," Green says.
IMAGE VIA SLMPD
The suspect in Thursday's killing on Page Boulevard.
The shooter was recorded on a surveillance video, and police distributed images following an afternoon news conference.
Police don't know the suspect's name, but they say he is in his mid-to-late teens, about 5'11" with a heavy build.
Police are looking for tips in both cases. They ask anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.