WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – The alleged Catholic Supply store killer was in court the same day the store reopened for business.

+1 
Catholic Supply murder suspect appears in court

Thomas Bruce appears in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bruce, 53, of rural Jefferson County, has been charged with first-degree murder and multiple counts of sodomy, armed criminal action, kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence in the crime at the Catholic Supply store in Manchester. Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/ via Pool

The store, located on Manchester Road in west St. Louis County, was closed after women were sexually assaulted and one customer was murdered on Nov. 19.

Customer Jamie Schmidt was murdered inside the store and laid to rest last week. Flowers remain outside the storefront as a memorial to Schmidt.

The store chain that sells religious items and gifts tweeted, “Our Manchester store will re-open to the public tomorrow, Wednesday, 12/5. Please visit us!”

The man charged with the crimes, Thomas Bruce, was wearing a dress shirt when he appeared in court Wednesday morning. He also had handcuffs and leg cuffs.

During the court appearance, the judge announced the preliminary hearing for the alleged killer would take place on Jan. 23.

+1 
Catholic Supply murder suspect appears in court

Thomas Bruce appears in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Bruce, 53, of rural Jefferson County, has been charged with first-degree murder and multiple counts of sodomy, armed criminal action, kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence in the crime at the Catholic Supply store in Manchester. Photo by Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/ via Pool

Some employees at nearby businesses said Tuesday that business has been slow since the crimes, but foot traffic has started to pick up again in the shopping center.

“I would encourage people to still come out because you can’t live in fear at the end of the day, the world still has to go on and everyone has to live their life,” said Tim Perry, an employee at a nearby cigar shop.

When the store reopened, Dan Stutte, president of Catholic Supply, issued the below statement:

The recent events at our Manchester store have been devastating to the Catholic Supply family. This location is now reopened so we can continue to fulfill our mission and help our staff, customers and community cope with this senseless tragedy and begin the healing process.

We thank the community for your outpouring of prayers, love and support.

News 4 Anchor/Reporter

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.