Man faces 17 charges in sexual assaults, killing at store

ST. LOUIS (AP) — 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.

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