A man was charged with murder on Tuesday after he shot dead a co-worker at a community centre in St Loius in a moment of "anger" a day before, police said. The shooting triggered panic in the community centre, prompting people to take cover and hide from the potential shooter before officials took control of the situation.
Michael J Honkomp, 30, a Janitor working at the Maryland Heights Community Center, opened fire at 45-year-old Maria Lucas on Monday night after he was told to go back home by the supervisor. Maryland Heights Police Chief Bill Carson said, "he reacted with anger" by pulling a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun and shot Lucas in the head.
A police officer who was in the centre's parking lot jumped into action after a woman informed him that a shooting took place inside the building. Reports suggest the shooter was pacing near the front desk and opened fire at the approaching police officer, shattering the glass but missing him. Both the officer and the gunman exchanged several shots before the gunman was struck multiple times. He was then taken into custody, Carson said.
Heroic police officer
"It's my belief that the actions of the officer-involved were absolutely heroic," Carson said. "He immediately went and sought out the threat. His actions may have prevented further bloodshed. We don't know right now the intentions of the gunman."
While the officer was not hit and the police department did not reveal his identity, Carson said the officer graduated from the police academy just 14 months ago.
Officials said the officer's body camera, as well as footage from the security cameras, are being investigated. Carson said he would be meeting St Loius County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell on Tuesday in anticipation of charges, according to the Associated Press.
SC police deputy shot dead, was serving an eviction notice
A day after the Missouri community centre shooting, a sheriff's deputy in South Carolina was fatally shot while serving an eviction notice on Tuesday morning, police said. Cpl Andrew Gillette of Sumter County Sheriff's office was shot in the chest and died a short time later, Sheriff Anthony Dennis said.
While not much information about the shooter or how the incident took place has been released, it is suggested the man being evicted was Terry Hasty, 56, who was also killed. The Sumter County Coroner's Office did not say why he was ordered to evict or any information about him. However, autopsies have been scheduled for both Hasty and Gillette.