ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – St. Louis Police has activated its violent offense team after an innocent woman was killed Thursday night.
Patrice Thimes, 39, was driving west on Page near Euclid around 9:55 p.m. and was reportedly on the phone with her sister when she was struck by a bullet fired from two groups shooting at one another.
When police arrived at the scene, officers found Thimes' Lexus SUV crashed into several parked, unoccupied vehicles at Page and Aubert. Thimes had been shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.
According to St. Louis police, the department has received information that indicates multiple homicides have occurred within the last two weeks that may be related and may be tied to the suspects involved in this shooting. The suspects apparently are involved in an ongoing dispute with one another.
In a press release sent to KMOV.com St. Louis police also said,
The Violent Offense Team activates for the investigation of certain crimes due to the nature of the offenses, the need for timeliness in the investigation and expertise required in different areas of the investigation. The Violent Offense Team consists of approximately 30 commissioned officers from the following areas: Patrol, Homicide, Narcotics, Gang Squad, Intelligence, Special Operations Teams, Housing, Rapid Deployment Unit and Tactical Squad. Using split shifts, the Violent Offense Team will be working 24 hours per day until such time they are deactivated.
The team is being activated in response to intelligence the department has received within the past several hours. The intelligence indicates multiple homicides that have occurred within the last two weeks may be related and may be tied to the same suspects, who are involved in an ongoing dispute with one another. While investigators have developed strong leads, the goal of the team is to gather sufficient evidence to arrest those persons and ultimately turn them over to the court for prosecution.
Police continue to urge anyone with information about any crime to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS. Calls are anonymous. CrimeStoppers does not subscribe to caller i.d. Callers who provide information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward. Through a system established by CrimeStoppers, callers can remain anonymous even during the actual collection of the reward.
Patrice Thimes is the sister of well-known jazz singer Denise Thimes.
Family members tell News 4 that Patrice's family planned to celebrate her 40th birthday this weekend.