ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Police have identified the five people found dead Saturday in an apartment building in the 1900 block of Chambers Road in north St. Louis County.
The homicide victims are Derrick Penny, 54, James Penny, 54, Rodney Holt, 37, Rondall Mullin, 65 and Ronald Brewster Jr., 40, the St. Louis County Police said in a news release Sunday night.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Monday that the victims had been fatally shot, but did not release any information about motives or suspects.
On Saturday, at a news conference near the crime scene, Officer Tracy Panus said the adults were inside the building Friday night, and a sixth person who was with them left, returned about noon Saturday, and discovered them dead.
“Somebody out there knows what happened,” said Belmar, who was at the scene Saturday afternoon with Panus and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell.
“As you know, one homicide is too many,” Belmar said. “Any time we have a scene like this where it is what appears to be five victims of a homicide, it rocks a community.”
Police said they did not know why the victims were there together and would not talk about any possible evidence left at the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to contact St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210. To remain anonymous or potentially receive a reward, call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.
At least part of the building had been previously boarded up, and yellow crime scene tape was around the building parking lot. Not all of the units are vacant, police said.
Family members at the scene on Saturday identified Brewster one of the victims. They said he had been staying at the apartment, and he had been a drug user for about 15 years. Brewster’s father, also named Ronald, had gone to the apartment Friday night to try to convince him to come home.
“I worried about him and tried many times to get him into rehab,” said Ronald Brewster Sr., 68, a retired Schnucks meat cutter.
Brewster said his son could work, but chose not to, and instead panhandled, including at a nearby gas station.
He said he returned to the apartment Saturday morning to pick his son up for a family reunion at Tilles Park in Ladue. He opened the door, saw a body on a couch, closed the door and called police because he knew his handprint was on the doorknob.
Family members, some wearing purple family reunion T-shirts, consoled one another and cried at the scene on Saturday.
According to records, the owner of the property is Zen Kiara LLC, which has an O’Fallon, Missouri, mailing address. A representative of the company could not be reached.
Ronald Brewster Sr. said he’d visited several times to check on his son, and described the apartment as small, with one bedroom, a kitchen and living room. Sometimes, he said, there would be as many as 15 people there, lying on the floor.
The death toll on Chambers Road makes this among the worst mass killings in St. Louis history. Others include:
Blythe Bernhard and Rachel Rice of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
Terrible news this afternoon from North St. Louis County, where police are investigating the murder of five people at an apartment complex. Please call County Police at 636-529-8210 if you have information regarding this crime.— County Executive Sam Page (@DrSamPage) July 6, 2019