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Video emerges of homeless man being shot dead on St Louis street

Suspect has been arrested and charged

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 01 March 2023 00:48 GMT
Shocking video captures moments before homeless man shot in St Louis

St Louis police have arrested a man who was allegedly captured in a graphic video shooting a man believed to be homeless in the head in broad daylight.

Deshawn Thomas, 23, was charged on Tuesday for the fatal shooting of David Saldana a day before, the St Louis Post Dispatch reports.

“Any homicide is unnerving,” Major Ryan Cousins of the St Louis police department told the paper, “but for this one to happen here, at this time, very much so.”

Video allegedly shows Thomas stand over Saldana as he sits on a curb, load a pistol, then shoot the man.

“Oh my god. He just f***ing killed him,” the individual filming the encounter can be heard saying.

Deshawn Thomas, 23, was charged on Tuesday, 28 February, 2023, with the shooting of David Saldana in St Louis, Missouri (St Louis Police Department)

Police said Thomas fled the scene. Officers called for backup and arrested the man as he entered a branch of the St Louis public library. Officials say he was found with a gun and a bullet casing.

The confrontation that led to Saldana’s death allegedly began earlier in the day at a gas station, before spilling out into the street.

Video of the incident quickly spread on social media, but was removed at times from Twitter due to its graphic nature.

"Twitter took down this video I posted yesterday so I’ll post it again," one of the accounts which shared the video said on social media, according to the Riverfront Times. "Doesn’t show the murder on camera so stop censoring it.”

Missouri’s US Senator Josh Hawley used the incident to criticise Kim Gardner, the local circuit attorney for the city of St Louis.

“Kim Gardner must go,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Prosecute the criminals”

The local official has been embroiled in controversy since an armed robbery suspect with several house arrest violations was behind the wheel in crash over earlier this month which forced a 17-year-old to suffer a double amputation.

After the crash, St Louis mayor Tishaura Jones said, "Some improvements need to be made in [Gardner’s] office,” according to KSDK.

"There are numerous attacks on our office," Ms Gardner said in response. "There are numerous individuals that have an agenda to make sure that my office does not succeed."

"We’re going to fight very hard for justice in spite of the vitriol, the hate, the racist attacks, the known manipulation of the court procedures to make sure our office fails."

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