Three St. Louis men were arrested this morning (Aug. 19) following a police pursuit that began at an auto dealership in unincorporated Fenton, where multiple gunshots were fired. The chase ended in Arnold, where two of the men were apprehended, and the third was found near where the chase began, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Grant Bissell said the men range in age from their teens into their 20s. He said the Sheriff’s Office is seeking charges against the men through the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for at least first-degree assault, armed criminal action, burglary, tampering and resisting arrest.
“We feel confident that all three of the people we arrested are the total number of suspects in this case,” Bissell said during an afternoon press conference held via Zoom, an online video conferencing app. “We don’t think there is anybody still out there on the loose after this.
"It was a quick response and a sharp eye from our patrol sergeant who saw the suspects. It was also a quick response from the deputies in the area to get involved in the pursuit and catch these guys in a very short amount of time.”
The incident began at 4:48 a.m. when deputies were called to the Turtle Creek Apartments, 201 Turtle Drive, in unincorporated Fenton, where people reportedly were seen trying to break into vehicles on the parking lot. A patrol sergeant who was responding to the call saw men in the parking lot at BBC Motors, 1649 Springdale Blvd., which is near the apartment complex. Because the business was closed at the time, the deputy circled back to investigate why the men were there, Bissell said.
As the deputy pulled into the business, he heard multiple gunshots, and the three men ran away. Bissell said the shots were fired from at least two guns at a 58-year-old woman, who lives next to the auto dealership.
Bissell said it is not known if one or two men fired shots at the woman. The woman was not hit by the gunfire, but bullet holes were found in vehicles on the lot and in the woman’s home.
The woman had come out of her home after she heard a noise, and while it is not known if she is employed by the business, Bissell said she helps watch over the lot when the dealership is closed. The noise the neighbor heard was glass breaking on the auto dealer’s building. It appears one of the men kicked out a window, and at least one of the suspects allegedly entered the building and stole items from the business, Bissell said.
He said the stolen items were recovered between the dealership and the apartment complex. He also said a gun was found in the same area.
After the men ran from the patrol sergeant, two of them returned to the apartment complex parking lot and got into a 2015 Toyota Camry and fled from the area. Deputies pursued the car, which was reported stolen from outside of Jefferson County, Bissell said.
The Camry turned off Hwy. 141 onto Astra Way and the two men dove out of it at a roundabout at the intersection. The driver was unable to clear the car, and his foot was run over. The Camry came to a stop on its own in the roundabout and did not run into anything, Bissell said.
The driver was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released and turned over to the Sheriff’s Office, and the other man was quickly apprehended near the abandoned car, Bissell said.
He said deputies found the third man walking alongside Hwy. 141 near Fiedler Lane, which is not far from the apartment complex and auto dealer. The deputies identified him as a suspect in the incident and arrested him, Bissell said.
The men not only are suspected of firing at the woman at the home near the dealership but also of trying to get into the vehicles at the apartment complex. It’s not known if anything was stolen from any of the vehicles, Bissell said.
He said a 2013 Hyundai Sonata was found in the apartment complex parking lot that also had been reported stolen from outside of Jefferson County, and investigators believe the men may also have driven that car, along with the Camry, to the complex.
It was the second time since October 2019 that the Sheriff’s Office got a report about a person suspected of trying to steal from unlocked vehicles firing a gun at someone.
Terry Logan, 41, of Imperial was shot at three times on Oct. 18, 2019, when he confronted a would-be thief outside his home in the Summerfield Parkside Estates subdivision off Seckman Road near the Mastodon State Historic Site. Surveillance footage showed Logan aiming his gun at a man leaning into an SUV through an open passenger-side door. Logan could be heard ordering the man not to move and get on the ground, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
However, the man ducked behind a pickup also parked in Logan’s driveway and made a “whoop” sound before firing three gunshots and then running from the house.
After that, the suspect could be seen on the surveillance footage getting into an SUV that looked like a Toyota RAV4 that had been reported stolen out of St. Louis and leaving the scene with someone else driving. The Sheriff’s Office was unable to locate the shooter, who was believed to be from St. Louis, Bissell said.
He said the Sheriff’s Office is warning county residents that thieves are targeting neighborhoods and apartment complexes where they believe they may find numerous unlocked vehicles.
“It is an ongoing problem that we have faced multiple times,” Bissell said. “We have added patrols in areas where this has happened, and we have done everything proactively that we feel we can do.
“We ask people to lock their car doors, to take their keys with them and take valuable items out of their vehicles, especially firearms. We know these guys are looking for (guns), and they are using them in later crimes.”