Teen Sentonio Cox Was Retreating When Joseph Renick Killed Him, Police Say


Joseph Renick murdered Sentonio Cox, 15, police say. - ST. LOUIS POLICE
  • Joseph Renick murdered Sentonio Cox, 15, police say.

Fifteen-year-old Sentonio Cox was backing away with his hands in the air when a gunman shot him in the head, authorities say.

The suspected shooter, 54-year-old Joseph Renick of Bevo Mill, was charged today with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm.

According to a probable cause statement, Renick "pointed a revolver at Sentonio Cox as he was backing away from him in retreat with his hands raised. Defendant fired one shot in Cox's head killing him."

Renick was not legally allowed to have a gun because of a 2015 conviction for not paying child support, according to the charges.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning in the 7300 block of Vermont Street. The account described in court papers doesn't explain how Sentonio and Renick crossed paths, only that the teen was retreating when when was killed.

Sentonio was the third child that weekend and thirteenth in a year that has become so violent that it has caught the attention of presidential candidates and made national news.

Sentonio was also the second of his mother's six children to be shot to death. An older son, eighteen-year-old Leland Butler, was killed two years ago.

"I really can't explain," mother Roxyzanna Edwards told KSDK after Sentonio's death. "It's like a nightmare that you can't get over, like a bottomless pit."

Renick was jailed at the St. Louis City Justice Center on $500,000 bond.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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