Police: Man killed woman, self in Missouri mall

July 16, 2008 7:57:10 PM PDT
A man recently divorced from his wife of more than 20 years shot and killed her inside a suburban St. Louis mall on Wednesday before committing suicide, police said. The shooter was 49 and his ex-wife was 47, but their names had not been released, St. Louis County police spokeswoman Tracy Panus said. Panus said they both lived in the nearby suburb of Hazelwood and had been married more than 20 years with grown children before recently divorcing.

The motive for the shooting just outside the Sears store had not been determined, Panus said.

Marcus Gwynn said he heard four shots as he was walking into the mall to begin his shift at a Radio Shack store.

"I seen a lady on the ground face down, then he sits on the ground and shot himself in the head," said Gwynn, 21.

Deborah and Michael Mingo said they were shopping at Sears when they heard several shots. She said she asked a clerk about the noise and was told it was likely construction, but a short time later people in the store were telling them to get out.

Police tape was wrapped around the entrance to the food court near the scene of the shooting.

St. Louis County police Detective Mike Williams inspected a gray Ford Focus ? the female victim's car ? on the lot outside the Sears. Two of the tires were deflated, leading Williams to believe the shooter did not want the woman to flee.

Earlier, a distraught man told two reporters he and the victims were cousins. But police later said the victims were a recently divorced couple.

Calls seeking comment from officials of Sears and several other stores in that area of the mall were either unanswered or not returned.

A woman who answered phones in the mall office declined to comment.

Jamestown Mall is in far northern St. Louis County. It has about 60 stores and restaurants. It was not immediately clear when it would reopen.