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Man charged with killing Missouri community center co-worker

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a part-time janitor has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting and killing a co-worker at a crowded suburban St. Louis community center before a police officer rushed inside and exchanged gunfire with the shooter. The suspect, 30-year-old Michael J. Honkomp, was seriously wounded. Maryland Heights police Chief Bill Carson said Tuesday that the gunman was upset about being sent home when he opened fire Monday night. The building's acting supervisor, 45-year-old Maria Lucas, was killed. Frantic patrons ran and huddled for cover. Some hid in closets while clutching weights to toss at the gunman. Carson praised the young officer who ran inside and shot the gunman, saying he may have prevented a much larger tragedy.


Two charged in Columbia home invasion that left suspect dead

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Two people who allegedly were with a Columbia teenager who was shot and killed during an attempted robbery are now charged with second-degree murder in his death. Justin Terrell Shelton and Gracie Dian Avery are charged in the death of 17-year-old Joseph Valention Taylor. Police say a homeowner fatally shot Taylor when he and Shelton broke into his home Feb. 5. Avery is accused of setting up a drug deal with the homeowner, and Taylor and Shelton planned to rob him. The homeowner told investigators he picked up a gun one of the intruders had put down and shot Taylor while Shelton fled.


Mom sues Independence police over son's shooting death

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — The mother of a man fatally shot by police is suing the officers involved and police chiefs of two departments. Tamy Lorraine Lukecart alleges Independence and Sugar Creek officers used excessive force when they shot and killed 22-year-old Dakota Lukecart, of Lincoln, in January 2017.  He was shot after a police chase, which stopped when Lukecart drove into a dead end. Police say the officers shot Lukecart after he accelerated the car toward the officers. In the lawsuit, Tamy Lukecart says the officers should have tried all reasonable means to stop her son before shooting him.


Suspect critical after officer-involved shooting

VELDA CITY, Mo. (AP) — A suspect is hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by a police officer in suburban St. Louis. The shooting happened just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when Velda City officers made a traffic stop. St. Louis County police said the suspect drove toward the officers, who discharged their weapons, striking the suspect's vehicle, which then drove away. A short time later, the suspect's vehicle struck another vehicle, and police took the man into custody. Police say the suspect was shot at least once and is in critical but stable condition. No one else was hurt. Velda City police asked St. Louis County police to conduct an investigation.


Man faces abuse count for shaking ex-girlfriend's foster son

REPUBLIC, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man accused of shaking his ex-girlfriend's foster child so hard that the infant was hospitalized in critical condition has been charged with felony child abuse. Twenty-three-year-old Eddie Davis, of Branson, entered a not guilty plea Monday. He is jailed without bond. Republic police say Davis initially denied injuring the child last week but then later admitted he was "100% responsible." Prosecutors say Davis has a prior arrest for domestic assault in Taney County. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of child abuse. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.


Ex-homicide prosecutor to run for St. Louis circuit attorney

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former homicide prosecutor is entering the race for St. Louis circuit attorney. Mary Pat Carl filed Tuesday for the Aug. 4 Democratic primary, where she will oppose incumbent Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. The two have run against each other before. In 2016, Gardner won the four-person primary with 47% of the vote. Carl was second with 24%. Gardner was unopposed in the November 2016 general election. Carl has pledged to steer first-time non-violent offenders to programs providing job training and education, while holding violent criminals responsible for their actions.


Missouri man sentenced to 60 years in child porn case

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A 38-year-old southwest Missouri man has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for producing and receiving child pornography. John Stott Jr., of Ozark, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in June to two counts of producing child pornography and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. He was charged in 2018 after an investigation found Stott created images of child sexual abuse. Federal officials say he also received and distributed images of child sexual abuse between January 2014 and April 2018.


St. Louis march protests violence after 6-year-old's death

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis march protesting gun violence drew a crowd of more than 300 people after a weekend shooting killed a 6-year-old boy and wounded his 9-year-old sister. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden told the crowd Monday that, “If we don’t come together and say that that won’t be tolerated in our neighborhoods, the shooters are emboldened to do that over and over again.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the “Peace Be Still” march was organized by various local churches, community organizations and businesses. A similar march took place simultaneously in East St. Louis.