ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO — A man walked into a Catholic Supply Store in west St. Louis County Monday afternoon and sexually assaulted several women at gunpoint before fatally shooting 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt, of House Springs, Missouri, The Post-Dispatch reports. Another woman called 911 after the man fled.
The shooting happened shortly before 3:19 p.m. at a shopping center on Manchester Road that also contains a home goods store, restaurant and several other businesses. Witnesses told the paper the man ordered several women to strip before he assaulted them.
Police described the attacker as between five-feet-seven and five-feet-nine-inches tall with a heavy build. He is said to be between 40 and 50 years old. He wore a navy blue Carhartt-style work jacket with a red, white and black plaid shirt, blue jeans and a large brown belt with a red and blue square on the buckle. Police also said the man wore a black and gray “paperboy style” hat and glasses, sharing examples of the man’s clothing in a Tweet Tuesday morning.
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Police say the victims did not know their attacker. As of noon on Tuesday, county police said the suspect was still at large and considered “armed and dangerous.”
“We have a loose, armed gunman out there who’s already shot one person,” Sergeant Shawn McGuire told the Post-Dispatch Monday evening.
Dan Stutte, president of Catholic Supply, said in a statement the local religious retail chain is cooperating with investigators and that all three St. Louis-area locations would be closed on Tuesday.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy at Catholic Supply,” Archbishop Robert Carlson said in a statement. “We are praying for these victims, especially the victim in critical condition at this time. We join with civil authorities in asking for the community’s assistance in apprehending the culprit of this crime.”
The Archdiocese of St. Louis Tweeted a prayer upon learning of the woman’s death.
Authorities said the investigation remains “very active.” Anyone with information should call the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210. You can also contact St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers toll free at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477). All CrimeStoppers callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. Tips can also be submitted through the CrimeStoppers website or free app.
No detail, they added, is too small to report.
Image via Shutterstock
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