A woman met her death on Wednesday at St. Louis religious supplies store. She was shot and killed earlier this week because she declined the attacker’s demands to “perform deviant sexual acts on him,” authorities said.
The supposed attacker was recognized as Thomas Bruce, 53, on Monday forced three women who were in the store into a back room at gunpoint and forced them to undress, detectives said in a possible cause statement. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that he supposedly forced two of the women to perform sex acts on him.
Bruce allegedly tried to force the third woman, Jamie Schmidt, 53, and a married mother of three, but she declined. He then shot her in the head, the likely cause statement said. Schmidt died later at a hospital. Bruce then ran away from the store, leading a two-day manhunt that alarmed the region and led to some schools, churches, and businesses to closing.
The Post-Dispatch reported that Bruce was caught in his mobile home trailer park on Wednesday and booked into the St. Louis County jail, He is currently facing first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and sodomy, among other charges, prosecutors said. He is being held without bail.
Chief Jon Belmar, 32, veteran of the St. Louis County Police called that the attack was one of the worst he’d seen in his career and one that “shocked the senses.”
Investigators said Authorities are working to determine why Bruce targeted the store, he has no criminal history.
Robert McCulloch, St. Louis County Prosecutor said a tip helped authorities track down Bruce.