Man charged in Sauget killing over spilled beer

The convenience store where the slaying occurred.
The convenience store where the slaying occurred. News-Democrat

A St. Louis man is in custody in connection with a fatal shooting over spilled beer Saturday morning in Sauget.

Police took Lamarc R. Garrett, 33, into custody following an investigation by the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis.

Garrett is charged with first degree murder, and bond has been set at $1 million.

Garrett is in the custody of the University City Police Department in Missouri. According to Missouri court records dating to 2001, he has previously pled guilty to stealing, resisting arrest or interfering with a police officer, burglary and theft. He was charged with assault, for which he was sentenced to six years, in 2008. The most recent charge was from May, for parking illegally in Charlack, Mo.

Lt. Kerry Andrews, of the O’Fallon Police Department, said there was no connection between Garrett and the victim, Oscar C. Carbajal, of St. Louis.

“Just a random thing,” Andrews said Monday morning.

The Major Case Squad on Saturday was called after the shooting, which investigators say began over spilled beer.

The victim, Carbajal, was with two men early Saturday morning at the Phillips 66 convenience store on Illinois 3 in Sauget. They bought beer, and were then accosted by the suspect, who said “Give me one of those beers,” according to police reports.

At that time the 12-pack slipped from the buyer’s hands and fell, spraying beer onto the suspect, who said “You gonna buy me new shoes?”, police said.

Police reports say the suspect abruptly returned to his vehicle while Carbajal and his friends decided to make another purchase.

At that time, the suspect walked up to Carbajal and shot him once, police say. Carbajal was not the man who dropped the beer.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated with 21 officers, including two from Missouri, Andrews said. Major Case officers made the arrest late Sunday afternoon, acting on information from witnesses, public cooperation and the investigations, he said.

The squad was taking the day off on Monday for the holiday to avoid paying officers overtime on a holiday, Andrews said, and was to finish up paperwork before being officially disbanded on Tuesday.