ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Multiple law enforcement agencies in St. Louis County have launched a massive manhunt for a murder suspect Monday afternoon after police said he entered a religious gifts store, sexually assaulted at least one woman and then shot her in the head.
Police have set up a search area surrounding the religious book and gifts shop. Police have issued an alert for a man described as being between the ages of 45 and 50 years old, about 5'7" tall with a heavy build, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans with a large belt. He was also wearing a black or gray hat. The man is considered armed and dangerous.
"Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy at Catholic Supply," St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said on Twitter. "We are praying for these victims, especially the victim in critical condition at this time."
The shooting happened at a strip mall in an affluent area of suburban St. Louis along Manchester Road, one of the most congested roadways in the region. McGuire said the heavy volume of traffic only made finding the suspect more difficult.
"Obviously someone could blend in pretty easily," he said.
Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc. operates three stores specializing in church supplies for parishes as well as Catholics. The company's website says it also publishes national supply catalogs.
Ballwin is about 25 miles west of St. Louis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report