A man who had a previously encountered the man suspected of sexually assaulting two women and fatally shooting a third at a Catholic Supply store in Missouri reveals that he had a direct glimpse of the suspect’s fury last month.
The man, who pleaded anonimity, told FOX2 that he reported Thomas Bruce to Missouri State Highway Patrol after a road rage incident where Bruce was driving in-between lanes and riding bumpers until the two collided.
The man told FOX2 “(Bruce) was acting very psychotic, very erratic, and even more so with the officer than with me,
He said ” After the two got into an accident, Bruce got out of his car and tried to fight the man, bumping his chest and yelling he was going to “f—ing pay.”
When an officer got to the scene of the crash, the man told FOX2 that Bruce became even more hostile.
The man disclosed “He was worse with the officer than he was with me. He’s like, ‘You f—ing work for me, I’m a citizen, I pay your f—ing salary’ and just continues to even get closer to the officer and get physical with the officer,”.
The officer was able to calm the situation, and the road rage incident didn’t lead to any charges. The man told FOX2 what he remembered was how aggressive Bruce was.
He told FOX2 “The guy was trying to start something “(Bruce) was intentionally trying to get a reaction out of me.”
Prosecutors said the 53 year old Bruce was charged on Wednesday with the killing of one woman and sexually assaulting two others after putting them at gunpoint into the back room of a religious supplies shop in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin, last week. Two of the women agreed but the third, 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt of nearby House Springs, refused, so he shot her in the head.
Bob McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecutor described the crime as “heartbreaking,” including that there was no sign the store was targeted because of its religious affiliation.
McCulloch said at a news conference on Wednesday “It seems to me a guy like this saw an opportunity, three women in the store alone,”.
When authorities released a description of a suspect in the attack at the store in Missouri on Monday, officials noticed similarities in the narrative of the Catholic Supply shooting suspect resembled that of a man wanted for the murder of two girls – ages 13 and 14 — in Delphi, Indiana, last year.
In the Missouri killings, a man was announced wearing a navy blue Carhartt-style work jacket, a plaid shirt, red, white, and black in color, glasses, a brown belt with a red and blue square on the clasp or clip of the belt and a newsboys/flat hat.
That outfit was same as the one described as being worn by the suspect in Delphi.
Indiana State Police have shared a photograph and sketch of the suspect connected to the murder of two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana, last year (Indiana State Police)
Though officials in Indiana told RTV6 they were “aware” of the investigation in St. Louis, they said further that it was “premature” to link the two crimes.
ISP Capt. Dave Bursten told RTV6 that “If and when an arrest is made of a suspect identified by the Indiana State Police as the alleged perpetrator of the Delphi murders, rest assured, we will let everyone know,”