Mistaken identity may have lead to double shooting

VILLA RIDGE, MO – Monday night Franklin County Deputies arrested a 39-year-old suspect in a double shooting in Villa Ridge, Missouri.  The sheriff’s office says Lucas L. Rankins was taken into custody after 2 residents were shot after they tried to run over the suspect's dog.

The shooting occurred on South Drive after a couple driving home noticed a dog in their yard. The male driver drove the car off the road to run over the dog which he said had attacked his dog earlier. When he traveled off the road the suspect fire twice at the vehicle.  Both occupants of the vehicle were shot suffering non-life-threatening wounds.

When deputies arrived on scene both victims were found lying on the ground outside of their car.  They were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities say the suspect was taken into custody at the scene without incident.  They further said the suspect told deputies that he had shot at the vehicle because he thought it was being driven by a person who had threatened him and his family.

Neighbors said the threats started after a house fire Saturday night in which the homeowner thought Rankins started. They said Rankins thought the car swerving to hit the dog was the homeowner coming to make good on his threat.

Rankins is being held at the Franklin County Jail charged with unlawful use of a weapon. His bond has been set at $30,000 cash only.