Man who shot Laclede workers had violent past - KMOV.com

Man who shot Laclede workers had violent past

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Police say Clinton Willis, 51, shot and killed two Laclede Gas workers in north St. Louis Thursday, Credit: KMOV Police say Clinton Willis, 51, shot and killed two Laclede Gas workers in north St. Louis Thursday, Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Police identified the man who shot and killed two Laclede Gas Company employees Thursday as 51-year old Clinton Willis.

Those who knew him since he was a child said they were surprised to hear what he'd done.

"I'm still in shock, I'm still in shock. It's just so sad, so sad," said Dr. Patricia Whitelocke, former pastor of St. Louis Bible Way Church, where Willis attended as a child.

But in 1997 Willis pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, and first and second-degree assault in another case that same year. News 4 looked at the court records in the assault case and the police account of what happened appears to show Willis losing his temper and turning violent.

According to court documents, Willis choked a man after being accused of a burglary. Then he shot a man twice who came to try and stop the assault. That second man survived but the report by police said Willis then chased the first man and tried to shoot him too.

In 1997 Willis was sentenced to 14-years in prison. He was released after serving 11. 

In 2012 Willis filed for bankruptcy. Court records show he owed $731 to Ameren and $813 to Laclede Gas.

Whitelocke said, "He was such a good guy, I'm shocked. Something must have ticked him off to trigger this kind of incident."

The ATF is working with police to determine how Willis obtained the firearm he used to kill the workers. As a convicted felon, it was illegal for him to have a firearm.


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