Federal marshals’ hunt for an Illinois man in connection with a weekend carjacking and killing in St. Louis ended Thursday afternoon in Washington Park, where a barrage of gunfire left the 21-year-old suspect dead.
Witnesses said the dead man, who also was wanted in connection with a recent East St. Louis homicide, ignored orders from police and fired on them.
St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone identified the dead man as Devante Gates, 21. Police said he has addresses listed in East St. Louis and in Brooklyn.
The shooting took place near Eastgate Street and North 51st Street.
Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Mark Doiron said the U.S. Marshal Service’s Fugitive Task Force was in Washington Park on Thursday afternoon searching for the 21-year-old, who also was wanted in connection with a killing a couple of weeks ago in East St. Louis. Police said Gates had acquaintances in the area.
Marshals came upon Gates about 4 p.m. in the residential area, and a foot chase began.
Two marshals and a local police officer fired at the suspect, Doiron said.
Doiron said the officers feared for their lives. He said the investigation was in its early stages, and it wasn’t immediately clear how many shots were fired.
Stone said Gates “was shot multiple times.”
One resident of the area, Edward Spencer, said he was outside with his family when he heard shooting.
“I heard several loud gunshots,” Spencer said.
Another resident, who declined to give his name to a reporter, said he saw police ordering the man to stop.
“He wouldn’t stop. He shot first. He shot twice,” the resident said.
A young woman who declined to give her name to a reporter said she heard someone yelling, “Put the gun down! Put the gun down!”
The dead man as well as a Belleville teen were suspects in a brutal St. Louis carjacking that left a driver dead and a baby dumped in the street.
Police already charged the Belleville teen, Ross Randolph, 19, with the murder of Brandi Hill, 21, of O’Fallon, Mo. He and the dead man were suspected late Sunday of walking up to Hill’s car and her 9-month pregnant passenger got nervous and started rolling up her window.
The suspects yanked open the car door, shot Hill in the head and forced the passenger out. Several blocks away they discovered an infant in the back seat and tossed the baby out into the street.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office charged Randolph with first-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $1 million, cash only.