Guard shoots man after he was beaten in a mask confrontation

August 15, 2020 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis security guard who was beaten in a confrontation over face masks opened fire early Saturday and wounded one of his attackers.

St. Louis Police said the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. after the guard told three men they couldn’t be inside a Shell gas station because they weren’t wearing masks. The city is requiring masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The maskless men eventually left but kept the door open and taunted the guard, police said. When the guard ordered the men to leave the property, they surrounded him and began punching him in the face. One of the suspects grabbed the guard’s baton and struck him several times.

The guard then shot at the suspects, hitting one of the men in the abdomen, police said. That man was dropped off at a hospital where he was listed in critical but stable condition. The other two suspects fled.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported another 1,127 confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the cumulative total in Missouri to 66,397. The virus also has claimed 1,346 lives in Missouri since the pandemic began.