ST. ANN, Mo. — The owner of a St. Ann car repair business was murdered just as his workday was getting underway Friday morning.
The victim, identified as 32-year-old Talmadge Smith, was shot in the face at the T&R Pit Stop garage at St. Charles Rock Road and Geraldine. St. Ann Police Chief Jimenez said he was taken to an area hospital in critical condition at around 10:30 a.m. and died late Friday afternoon.
Another person working at the garage tells police he heard a loud pop. He found Smith on the ground in the machine shop when he went to check on the sound. Smith had been shot just below the nose.
“When he came out he saw casing on the ground and the manager (owner) had been shot in the face just above the teeth,” said St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez.
The shooting may be drug-related. Authorities stopped short of saying what the connection to narcotics might be.
“There are more investigations that we know of from a few months ago that our undercover narcotic agents were working with,” Jimenez said.
They also said one car was stolen and several others have bullet holes in them at the business. Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting and federal agencies have been contacted.
“It really upsets you. You never knew that this would happen at your front door," said Darryl Lee, who lives nearby.
Neighbors in the apartment building across the street said the business opened about a year and a half ago and everything appeared to be normal.
“I see people working on a car, I see people bringing cars with tow trucks,” said resident Lacey Kimbro.
Lee said he moved to St. Ann from St. Louis City to get away from crime.
“When we moved out here we thought it would be safe and it’s still safe. I would still live out here,” he said, adding that he still supports the police department and its aggressive stance towards criminals.
The police were checking surveillance camera from video from nearby businesses in hopes of obtaining video of the suspect.
“This is not a normal thing that happens in St. Ann. I can tell you whoever did this picked the wrong city," said Chief Jimenez. "I’m always passionate about it. They absolutely picked the wrong city to do this in. We’re not going to stand for any of this nonsense.”
Information about a suspect has not been released.