ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Investigators with the St. Louis County Police Department are searching for two suspects who opened fire at one another in broad daylight at a popular north county retail center. People’s sense of security seems to have been severely damaged.
Officers were called to the Ross Dress for Less retail store in the 1000 block of West Florissant Avenue at 9:57 a.m.
Courtney Bohlen was inside the store when the shooting began.
“We just heard a lot of gunshots—like 20—like it was like a war out here,” she said.
People were stunned by the rapid fire and the number of shell casings, there appeared to be well over 30 shots fired. Some folks wanted to remain anonymous.
“Machine gun,” one woman said. “It kind of reminded me of an Al Capone-like, a mobster-type of thing. It as just a quick pow, pow, pow.”
A dispute between two parties began in the Ross store and continued outside. Customers said they reacted quickly when they heard the gunshots.
“We run into the back of the store, barricaded ourselves in, cause we didn’t know if they were running in or anything,” Bohlen said.
Police arrived in force, canine units were brought in to search behind the shopping center, and a police helicopter circled overhead. Storefronts were damaged by bullets and at least one car window was shattered.
One person was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to their lower body. The wound was not considered life-threatening.
As the reality settled in of what they witnessed, shoppers wondered what’s happening to their lives.
“You can’t go to public areas and shop and do things were supposed to be doing without having madness like this,” one shopper said.
Another woman added, “You can’t go nowhere anymore there’s just so much madness around here.”
Police said they’re searching for two suspects. No word on what the two parties were so upset about that they pulled guns and opened fire on each other.