Funeral held for man killed at Tropicana Lanes

ST. LOUIS – The West Side Missionary Baptist Church on in north St. Louis City was packed Friday for a final goodbye to Demetrius Stewart, a reverend at the church.

The beloved husband, father, and minister was murdered as an innocent bystander one week ago in Richmond Heights. He was 45.

Stewart was remembered as a wonderful person who was taken way too soon in a senseless killing.

Will Croom, Stewart’s uncle by marriage, was among those at the service.

“Demetrius was very caring and a very nice guy. I don’t think anyone has a bad word to say about Demetrius. He always had a smile on his face and he was always trying to help out other individuals,” said Croom.

Henry Rice Jr. said he and Stewart were friends since they were kids. They played together on a baseball team called the Angels. Rice said Stewart is himself an angel now.

“A lot of people was touched by Demetrius,” Rice said. “He’s a very giving person. And there’s nothing you can say about him that’s negative.”

Yolonda Yancie said Stewart coached her son in baseball.

“I don’t want to say I’m sad, yes…and I’m angry...and I’m frustrated but at the same time I’m very hopeful because Demetrius, his lifestyle, he’s left a legacy,” she said.

Stewart’s widow and their two kids were in the front row.

The tragic killing happened last Friday night. Stewart was with his wife and friends bowling at the Tropicana Lanes in Richmond Heights. An argument started inside the bowling alley that did not involve Stewart or anybody with him. That argument spilled over into the parking lot.

Investigators said Stewart was in his car with his wife when 24-year-old Donte McGary came up to the car and shot him.

Police said McGary was involved in the fight and mistakenly thought Stewart was the man he was fighting with.

McGary was arrested and is facing charges for first-degree murder.

After the service, Stewart was laid to rest at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Normandy.

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