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HANLEY HILLS • A man was killed here early Wednesday morning after murdering his mother and wounding a police officer and two FBI agents over a little more than a day, officials said.

Major Washington, 33, was sought but had not been charged in the death of his mother, Donna Washington, 55, officials said.

Police said he had climbed through a bedroom window of her home in the 7400 block of Wayne Avenue in University City and shot her in the leg. She died at a hospital. Police said he exchanged shots with responding University City officers, wounding one in the chest, and fled. It was not clear if Washington was hit then.

An FBI SWAT team joined police Tuesday night to serve a search warrant at a house in Hanley Hills, in the 1800 block of North Hanley Road. It turned into an hours-long standoff capped by a confrontation in which two agents were shot and Washington was killed. Neither local nor federal officials would provide details.

The agents, with the FBI’s St. Louis Division, were rushed to a hospital about 3 a.m. Wednesday with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said one was hit in the shoulder and the other in the leg.

Officials did not acknowledge Washington’s death until about 12 hours later. Sources told the Post-Dispatch he had been hit multiple times and had died at the scene.

Sources said that a flash-bang device had caused a fire in the house and that St. Louis County police sent in a bomb-disposal robot to search for explosives, as a precaution.

University City police Detective Sgt. Fredrick Lemons confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the man was dead but would not comment on how he had been killed. Lemons said the FBI would probably make a public announcement.

But Wu said late Wednesday: “The FBI cannot comment further because of our pending investigation into the shooting.”

The wounded University City officer was hospitalized in good condition, officials said.

Neighbors said they were not evacuated during the standoff. One woman said she had been told to stay inside, and she chose to sleep in the basement to keep away from windows.

Washington had not been charged with the shooting from Monday night, said Edward Magee, the spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office.

Washington got out of prison this year after a 2011 case that also began at his parents’ home in University City. He was shot in that incident.

According to court files, police were called there on Jan. 20, 2011, for a disturbance. Washington had made threats to someone in his family, and police were told he might have a gun. Police found him in a neighboring yard.

He pointed a gun at two police officers, and they shot him. Police said he had a loaded .38-caliber handgun, according to court files. Washington was charged then with two counts of second-degree assault on a law-enforcement officer and two counts of armed criminal action. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years in prison. That sentence was supposed to run concurrently with convictions in 2003 for drug possession, escape from custody, assaulting a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest from St. Louis County.

He originally had been put on probation in the 2003 case, and in 2006, he was sent to prison for a 120-day “shock” sentence. Then, he was again put on probation.

With the 2011 crimes, a judge revoked his probation and sent him back to prison.

He was released in March, according to David Owen, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.


Barbara Cole, 77, spent more than 30 years as a neighbor on Wayne Avenue and said she knew the Washington family. She described Donna Washington as a “lovely, a physically beautiful person” who had moved there to care for her elderly mother, Lorene Washington.

Since his prison release, Major Washington had abeen living there with his mother, grandmother and middle-school-age daughter. His stepfather lived there off and on as well, Cole said. “I’m just devastated,” Cole said.

Cole said Major had physical problems stemming from when he was shot by police before. “He didn’t turn out good,” Cole said.

A neighbor who called 911 Monday night said she had helped set up a neighborhood watch program specifically because of the house where Major lived. Neighbors called to report drug transactions at least twice a month, she said.

Christine Byers and Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report

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