crime scene tape

The owner of a gun shop south of Festus was shot to death Thursday morning (Aug. 17) in his Hillsboro-area home, Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak reported.

Stephen D. Pettit, 49, was pronounced dead at the scene at the house he was renting in the 10000 block of Vail Drive in rural Hillsboro, Marshak said this afternoon (Aug. 18).

Pettit owned Blackwood Firearms, 2545 Hwy. 67, in the Festus area, Marshak said.

“The original call (at 7:11 a.m.) came as a burglary in progress,” he said. “As deputies were in route, more information came to dispatch that shots had been fired and a person was bleeding.”

Authorities said the man was dead when they arrived.

Marshak said deputies have interviewed a woman who “the man had an intimate relationship with,” but as of this afternoon no arrests had been made.

“We have interviewed a person of interest,” he said.

“The investigation is in its early stages,” Marshak added.

He said a murder investigation can take a great deal of time, and the investigation is ongoing.