ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A manager at the Drury Inn & Suites shot and killed during a robbery attempt was just one of six victims of gun violence in a 12-hour span since Wednesday night and while police continue to search for his murderer, charges have been filed in three of the other homicides.
In a news conference Thursday, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay discussed the sudden crime spree, announcing that three people have been taken into custody and will likely be charged Friday.
At 7:25 p.m. Wednesday night, Leon Rivers, 34, of the 4800 block of Penrose, was killed when he was shot in the chest by a suspect in the 5000 block of Cates. Police said the suspect, Ramon Demery, 29, has been arrested and charged.
Demery, who is from the 1100 block of Chambers, is charged with murder and armed criminal action.
Demery is charged with murder.
Roughly four hours later, officers were called to a shooting in the 7800 block of Tennessee. According to police, Kenny Burgett, 19, and a 22-year-old suspect, later identified as Arthur Bolton, got into a fist fight inside the residence of Burgett’s girlfriend.
When Burgett left the apartment complex he was shot by the suspect. Police say Burgett ran to the 7800 block of Bandero where he collapsed. Police later arrested a suspect in that case.
Fifteen minutes later, two men were shot and killed during an attempted robbery in the 3500 block of Osage Street.
Police say three unknown suspects were seen exiting a light-colored vehicle in a nearby alley before confronting three men. The suspects announced a robbery following a brief conversation with the victims, according to police.
During the robbery, at least two suspects shot at the victims. Eric Lee, 21, was shot twice in the head and pronounced dead at a local hospital. The other victim, 20-year-old Jerivon Taylor, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. The third victim was shot at but was not struck by gunfire.
Police believe the suspects are three African-American men who were wearing dark clothes and ran from the scene by foot. Surveillance video of the suspects was released Thursday morning.
The last overnight shooting occurred at 2:56 a.m. when an employee of a Drury Inn & Suites was shot inside the hotel in the 2100 block of Sulphur Avenue. Surveillance photos were released by police, but no arrest has been made. The victim, a 50-year-old man, was the night manager of the hotel.
At 8:17 a.m. Thursday, homicide detectives responded to a shooting at South Tucker and Chouteau in downtown. Police said one person was killed at that scene and another was injured during a domestic dispute. Authorities say the suspect, identified as Willie Barnes and was arrested a short-time later during a traffic stop, pulled alongside the Cheri Simpson’s vehicle, exchange words with the victims and then fired shots into the vehicle.
Simpson, 32, was killed, a 32-year-old man was shot in the hands and a third passenger was not wounded.
Anyone with information about any of the shootings is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.