Father shoots dead robber who held gun to his daughter's head
It was around 11 p.m. on Monday in St. Louis when a 17-year-old girl left the home she lives in with her mother and 5-year-old brother. She went out to get something from a car when two masked and armed men approached her, police said.
The men, later identified as Terrell Johnson and Cortez McClinton, forced the girl into the house, using her as a shield. The teen’s father, who was visiting at the time, saw the men walking up with his daughter. He “retrieved his firearm and fired several shots at the suspects, striking both of them as they entered [the] residence,” the police report said. “The mother… also retrieved a firearm and fired one round at the suspects, not striking them.”
The father, who asked not to be identified, told KTVI in an interview that he had no choice but to fire. “He was holding her hostage. She was a human shield. So I did what I had to do,” he said.
Johnson collapsed in the home and was pronounced dead at the scene. McClinton was standing behind the other suspect at the time Johnson was hit. The second suspect was hit in the chest and both thighs before he ran away in Johnson’s car. His brother brought him to the hospital, where he remains in critical but stable condition, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Neighbors heard the gunshots and called police, according to KTVI. A stray bullet from the incident struck the home of Jessica Swartz across the street.
“I was freaked out. For lack of a better word, yeah, scared,” she said. “Just laying in bed watching TV getting ready to go to sleep. Then I hear the gunshots and heard glass break, felt debris, jumped to the other side of my bed and waited for it to stop. Then called 911.”
Another neighbor said that crime has increased in the St. Louis neighborhood in recent years. “You work hard for everything you have and somebody tries to come in with a gun and take away everything you have away from you. That’s not right. That’s scary,” said Joan Bryan, who lives a few houses down. “This neighborhood used to be so good. You could go to the store and leave the door open. Not anymore.”
Bryan told KSDK, "You have to protect yourself. You just can't let people do that. You have to have some kind of protection."
Both suspects in the case were known to police before the shooting, KTVI reported. Johnson served time in the Missouri prison system for first-degree robbery.
McClinton was charged with first-degree murder for the 2010 killing of Brian Reed, but the charges were later dropped because witnesses refused to cooperate. He was also previously convicted of drug possession and distribution, as well as vehicle tampering, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The surviving suspect has been charged with second-degree (or felony) murder, kidnapping, burglary and armed criminal action in the Monday shooting. McClinton’s cash bail was set at $1 million. Police say they are still investigating the incident.