ST. Charles, Mo. – A man from the St. Louis area shot dead his girlfriend, her two small children, and her mother in the house they all shared, the authorities said Saturday. He exchanged the fire with the officers as he fled, and several hours later was taken prisoner in a supermarket with blood and wounds.
The prosecution filed 15 charges against Richard Darren Emery of St. Charles, Missouri, and attempted a robbery. The authorities said that 46-year-old Emery had given up his own pickup and tried to steal a woman's car while he was on the run and attack her as well.
Emery stayed in a local hospital with two gunshot wounds, which the authorities claimed did not inflict damage themselves and most likely came from the shootings with officers. Charles Charles district attorney Tim Lohmar said the investigators did not know the motives for Saturday night shootings.
"We may never know," Lohmar said during a press conference. "In particular, this was the worst example of a domestic violence case, and if you have a case of domestic violence, you're concerned about the safety of the victim, and that would be your worst nightmare."
St. Charles is a city of about 70,000 on the Missouri River northwest of St. Louis. Officials said there had recently been a series of deadly domestic violence ̵
Officials said the police received a phone call just before midnight on Friday for a shootout in the house where Emery and the victim lived. Lohmar said officers later killed three victims in a bedroom with gunshot wounds. They were Zoe's box, 8; her brother Jonathan Kasten, 10; and her grandmother, Jane Moeckel, 61.
The officers found the fourth victim, a 39-year-old woman, in the main bedroom of the house, who suffers from gunshot wounds but is still alive, Lohmar said. She was taken to a hospital in the area where she died.
The authorities did not name the fourth victim, but described her as the mother of the children, daughter of the elderly woman and Emery's girlfriend.
The first call came out to the police, and Lohmar said the investigators believe Moeckel did it.
"During this call, the 911 operator was able to hear shots in the background," said St. Charles Police Lieutenant Tom Wilkison.
Lohmar tried to escape in his pickup and was stopped by a police car. He and the officers exchanged shots and he fled on foot.
The authorities described his attempt to steal another vehicle as a carjacking and said she had stabbed her driver seven times. They said their injuries are not life threatening.
The area is wooded and Lohmar said Emery can escape the police in the dark. However, when he sought refuge in the Convenience Store bathroom a few miles away, Lohmar contacted a police officer.
Each of the charges against Emery results in a possible sentence of 30 years in prison, Lohmar added, adding that further charges are possible and the death penalty can be sought under Missouri's law.
"It is premature to make any kind of statement about it now, but I can tell you that this thing looks like a death penalty and smells a case," he said.
This version of the story corrects the direction of St. Charles of St. Louis in the second paragraph