The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

June 13, 2013

Police: Gunman shot 3, self at St. Louis business

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An argument inside a St. Louis home health care business escalated into gun violence Thursday when a man shot three other people before turning the gun on himself, police said.

The shooting occurred at AK Home Health Care LLC, one several small businesses inside the Cherokee Place Business Incubator south of downtown St. Louis. The shooter gunned down another man and two women before turning his semi-automatic handgun on himself, Police Capt. Michael Sack said.

Authorities said the shooter either owned or was a co-owner of the small business and his three victims were employees.

"We don't know if this was a thing that carried over into today or was initiated today," Sack told reporters.

Police said surveillance video showed what appeared to be a verbal dispute, followed a short time later by gunshots penetrating an inside wall. The video showed that no one else had gone into the building other than the four people who were killed, the St. Louis Police Department said in details posted on its official Twitter account.

An employee of another business in the building heard gunshots and called police. Other businesses in the building include an attorney's office and an African bazaar.

The victims' names have not been released, but Sack said they appeared to be in their early-40s to mid-50s in age.

A woman who showed up about two hours after the shooting began sobbing loudly when she saw the police scene and was comforted by onlookers and police. A neighborhood woman translated the woman's outbursts for reporters, saying the woman was worried that a relative was inside the building.

Abdi Salam Elmi, an immigrant from Somalia who drives a cab in St. Louis, said he was close to all four of the dead in Thursday's shooting. He described them as hardworking, friendly people.

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