Police ID slain Laclede Gas employees, suspect - KMOV.com

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Police ID slain Laclede Gas employees, suspect

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
Police in the 5900 block of Minerva after 3 men were shot Thursday (Credit: KMOV) Police in the 5900 block of Minerva after 3 men were shot Thursday (Credit: KMOV)
Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV
Clinton Willis, 51, of the 5800 block of Highland, shot & killed 2 Laclede Gas employees in the 5900 block of Minerva Thursday, police said (Credit: Department of Corrections/ KMOV) Clinton Willis, 51, of the 5800 block of Highland, shot & killed 2 Laclede Gas employees in the 5900 block of Minerva Thursday, police said (Credit: Department of Corrections/ KMOV)
Alex Boschert, 27, was shot and killed in the 5900 block of Minerva Thursday (Credit: Family) Alex Boschert, 27, was shot and killed in the 5900 block of Minerva Thursday (Credit: Family)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com / Associated Press) – Police have identified the two Laclede Gas employees who were shot and killed before the suspect turned the gun on himself in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood Thursday.

According to officials, Clinton Willis, 51, of the 5800 block of Highland, shot the two employees, identified as Alex Boschert, 27, and William Froelich, 52, while they were in the 5900 block of Minerva just after 11 a.m.

Police spokeswoman Schron Jackson told the Associated Press the victims were working when the suspect “walked up and started shooting at them before turning the gun on himself.”

Shortly after the shooting, all three were pronounced dead, police said.

“We have no motive at this point in the investigation,” police Capt. Mary Warnecke said. “It does not appear words were exchanged.”

Authorities said both workers had been with Laclede Gas for five years. Police believe the shooting was random.

Read: "I was calling 911 in one hand and Jesus in the other," shooting witness says.

“I was calling 911 in one hand and Jesus in the other,” Manyik McCoy said. The workers were performing a service call at McCoy’s new home. “It’s just hard, very hard. I would never have expected this.”

McCoy said one of the victims put his hands up when the gunman approached and pleaded for him to put down the weapon.

A gun was found near Willis’ body, police said.

Friday morning, the Boschert's family released the below statement regarding the fatal shooting:

Alex Boschert was a hard-working young man, who loved the outdoors and being on the farm.  He treasured his family and friends.  Please be respectful of the family’s privacy as they grieve.  We are thankful for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

Shortly after police identified Willis as a suspect, Ameren Missouri officials issued the following statement:

In general, Ameren Missouri does not comment on customer information due to confidentiality policies. Due to the fact that a criminal investigation has been launched into yesterday’s tragic Laclede Gas employee shooting, we can tell you that an account under the name of Clinton E. Willis was not under the threat of disconnection. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims' family members and co-workers at Laclede Gas during this difficult time.

As a precaution, Laclede Gas and Ameren Missouri pulled all employees off the streets Thursday as the situation developed.

Laclede Gas sent out a statement mourning the loss of the two employees:

We are shocked and grieving today after two of our Laclede Gas employees were shot and killed this morning at one of our job sites. We are connecting with their loved ones now. And, we are working with police to understand more about this crisis. We are heartbroken, as you can imagine, and ask that you hold these employees, their families, their friends, Laclede Gas workers and our communities in your thoughts and prayers.

Ameren Missouri also issued a statement Thursday afternoon:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ family members and co-workers at Laclede Gas during this difficult time.  As a precaution, at 1 p.m. this afternoon, Ameren Missouri brought our crews in the city of St. Louis back into our Operating Centers.  In the event of a customer outage, Ameren will ensure service is restored.

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