The Latest: Store slaying suspect had worked as pastor
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the slaying and sexual assaults at a suburban St. Louis religious supplies store (all times local):
A Missouri pastor says the man charged with killing one woman and sexually assaulting two others at a suburban St. Louis religious supplies shop used to work as a pastor in southeast Missouri.
Thomas Bruce of Imperial, Missouri, was arrested Wednesday and charged in Monday’s attack at a Catholic Supply store in Ballwin.
David Fitzgerald is pastor at Calvary Chapel in Maryland Heights. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Bruce was a pastor at Calvary Chapel of Cape Girardeau from about 2003 into 2007.
The Missouri Secretary of State’s office identifies Bruce as the operator of a nonprofit church formed in 2003 and dissolved in 2007.
Fitzgerald says Calvary Chapels are affiliated under a ministry that originated in Costa Mesa, California. Associated Press attempts to reach church officials Thursday have been unsuccessful.
Prosecutors have charged a 53-year-old man with killing one woman and sexually assaulting two others after herding them at gunpoint into the back room of a suburban St. Louis religious supplies shop.
St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch on Wednesday announced charges against Thomas Bruce of Imperial, Missouri, in Monday’s attack at a Catholic Supply store in Ballwin. Bruce’s arrest ended a two-day manhunt that frightened the region and led some schools, churches and businesses to close.
Bruce is charged with 17 counts, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and other crimes. He is jailed without bond.
Authorities allege in the criminal complaint that Bruce shot 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt in the head after she refused to “perform deviant sexual acts.” The married mother of three died later at a hospital.