Missouri man forces three women into back of Catholic Supply store to have sex and shoots one dead when she refused
A massive manhunt was launched to track down the assailant, with a tip from an anonymous member of the public leading police to the trailer of Bruce, where he lived with his wife
A man who shot and killed a woman at a Catholic Supply store in a strip mall in St. Louis after she refused to perform a sex act on him has been apprehended by St. Louis County Police. The 53-year-old, Thomas Bruce, was arrested in connection to the murder of the victim, 53-year-old married mother-of-three Jamie Schmidt, and is expected to face an array of charges.
According to the Daily Mail, Bruce entered the store at around 3 p.m. on Monday, November 19, and pretended to be a customer before forcing Schmidt and two other women who have not been named to the back of the store at gunpoint. He then forced them to take off their clothes and ordered them to perform sexual acts on him.
Schmidt refused to comply and was shot and critically injured. She would pass away after she was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police say the other two women may have survived the ordeal because they complied to the gunman's demands. However, they did not go into detail about what the victims were made to do beyond suggesting they were forced to "continue performing deviant sexual acts on him".
Her husband, Gregg, posted a tribute to her on Facebook, writing, "She was my angel, my partner, my best friend and the love of my life. I'm sorry if you never got to hear her sing recently because it gave me chills."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Bruce made his escape before police arrived at the mall. They subsequently shut down the shopping center, with St. Louis County Police Sgt. Shawn McGuire revealing that the 53-year-old may not have been caught by any of the security cameras in the establishment.
Authorities released a detailed description of the attacker stating he was a white man between 40 to 50-years-old and between 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was said to be wearing a black or gray 'paperboy-style' cap, a navy blue Carhartt-style jacket, a red, white and black plaid shirt, glasses, a brown belt with a red and blue square on the buckle.
A massive manhunt was launched to track down the assailant, with a tip from an anonymous member of the public leading police to the trailer of Bruce, where he lived with his wife Diane. Neighbors said they saw close to 100 officers surround the residence before taking the 53-year-old into custody.
Bruce has been charged with murder, kidnapping, multiple counts of sodomy, armed criminal action, burglary, and tampering with evidence in the incident. He has no previous criminal record and police have never been called to his house before. Investigators confessed they had "no idea" of his motive to commit the crime and that it appeared as though the 53-year-old did not know any of his victims.