Metro-East News

Centreville teen charged with murder of man found shot in burning car

Johnny Lovett
Johnny Lovett

A 19-year-old Centreville man has been charged with murder in the death of Johnny Lovett, who police said stopped to help four young men in Centreville on Friday night when one of them shot him.

Keundray L. Kilpatrick was charged with first-degree murder and, according to charging documents, was in custody as of Tuesday afternoon with a bail of $750,000. Police say Kilpatrick shot Lovett multiple times with a gun.

Lovett, 60, was found dead in his car near the intersection of South 55th Street and Church Road at about 4:45 p.m. Friday after police received multiple 911 calls about his body.

Centreville Detective Demarius Thomas said Lovett stopped in his truck and was talking to a group of four men, at least one of which he knew personally.

According to KMOV, Lovett pulled over in his truck to give money to the men. Thomas said they are not sure yet why Lovett stopped to talk to the men, but they know that robbery was the motive of the shooting.

After Lovett was shot, his truck rolled into the woods and caught fire after striking a tree.

Lovett’s vehicle was on fire when police found it, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Sunday, three people were taken into custody in connection with the shooting and placed on a 48-hour hold. Police were searching for a fourth person.

A GoFundMe for Lovett Sr., which had raised more than $1,000 as of Sunday morning, said he was an iron worker and belonged to Iron Workers Local 392 for 33 years.

“If you were around him on a job site he put a smile on your face,” the post said. “He was ready for retirement in the upcoming months.”

A post in the International Brotherhood of Iron Workers Facebook group said, “Today we pray for JIW local 392 East Saint Louis Johnny Lovett and his family. Killed by violence yesterday on way to union meeting. Please no one use this post for the back and forth banter that has plagued this site in recent months. Please let this be a memorial post. Thank you.”

Funeral arrangements were pending at Kassly Mortuary in Fairview Heights.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6