Suspect charged with murder in St. Louis Drury Inn shooting

Suspect charged with murder in St. Louis Drury Inn shooting
Joseph Bowens (Source: Poplar Bluff PD)
Joseph Bowens (Source: Poplar Bluff PD)
Prior mug shot of Bowens.
Prior mug shot of Bowens.
Bowen is the 'primary suspect' in a deadly St. Louis hotel shooting (Source: St. Louis PD)
Bowen is the 'primary suspect' in a deadly St. Louis hotel shooting (Source: St. Louis PD)

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - According to the City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, Joseph Bowens faces charges of, murder first degree, armed criminal action, robbery first degree, and armed criminal action after a deadly hotel shooting last week.

Poplar Bluff, Missouri Police Chief Danny Whiteley says police officers in his city arrested a man Saturday that they believe to be the gunman that shot a St. Louis hotel manager to death earlier this week.

Joseph B. Bowens, 43, of Poplar Bluff, was wanted on three warrants related to various drug charges.

According to the circuit attorney, the defendant's mother told the circuit attorney that she believes that the person in the surveillance video is her son.

Also, a history GPS trace of the Bowen's cell phone revealed the phone to be at the vicinity of Sulpher and Hampton during the time of the murder.

During a search of a home used by Bowens, police found some articles of clothing that the shooter was believed to have been wearing during the murder including the leather jacket, according to City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.

Bowens was arrested just blocks from the Poplar Bluff police station. He's being held on $500,000 cash only bond

Bowens of Lindsay St. in Poplar Bluff was arrested on Saturday, Jan. 17 by Chief Danny Whiteley, Detective Jason Morgan,Corporal Joe Ward.

"You have to have some breaks to have something like this happen," Whiteley said.

The arrest happened after a traffic stop by the patrol officers with the Poplar Bluff Police Department.

He was taken to the Butler County Jail on two Poplar Bluff City warrants and a Butler County felony warrant.

There was a hold put on Bowens from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department while they were applying for a first degree murder warrant.

It is expected the St. Louis Police Department will pick Bowens on Sunday.

"Had this person not came forward, I'm confident he would have gotten identified at some point," Whiteley said. "But that made the investigation go a lot smoother and a lot quicker and got him in custody before something else happened."

Authorities say Bowens is the "primary suspect" in a robbery of a Drury Inn Hotel in St. Louis in which the desk clerk was murdered during the robbery, according to Chief Whitely.

50-year-old Scott Knopfel was gunned down in a botched robbery attempt early Thursday morning.

Bowen's has several prior convictions ranging from state convictions involving narcotics, second degree robbery, tampering, probation and parole violations, and was indicted in Federal Court as a felon in possession of a firearm in 2009.

Chief Whiteley stated the extreme cooperation of multiple agencies which included the the Poplar Bluff Police Department., the Caruthersville Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Semo Drug Task Force, the St. Louis Metro Police Department.

Whiteley says these agencies were a huge factor in identifying and arresting Bowen's before another violent crime happened.

St. Louis homicide investigators interviewed Bowens in connection to that killing.

According to Caruthersville Police Chief Tony Jones, he first saw the story on Heartland News about the Drury Hotel shooting in St. Louis.

Jones was contacted by residents of Caruthersville and they asked if he recognized the subject in the video from the hotel robbery in St. Louis.

Jones was able to identify Joseph Bowens formerly of Caruthersville as the suspect in that video.

Caruthersville Police Officers were able to contact agencies involved which tracked Bowens down in Poplar Bluff, MO.

Jones would like to recognize the Caruthersville Police Department, the St. Louis Police Department, the Cape Girardeau ATF, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Missouri Highway Patrol Gaming Division, the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Department and the Poplar Bluff Police Department in tracking Bowens down to place in custody.

Drury Hotels had offered a $25,000 reward ( for information behind the murder.

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