ST. LOUIS • Two men who stormed into a St. Louis bar in 2014 and triggered a deadly shootout were sentenced Tuesday morning to 60 years in prison.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan followed terms of a plea agreement by sentencing Derreaun Davis, 21, and Corey Wade, 30, both of St. Louis, to two consecutive life sentences — or up to 60 years in prison — with the possibility of parole.
Davis and Wade pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder and 31 other counts of assault, attempted robbery and armed criminal action stemming from a robbery attempt that turned into a shootout at Pooh’s Corner, at 6023 Virginia Avenue in the city’s Carondelet neighborhood.
The watering hole is popular with St. Louis police officers.
Police said that Davis, Wade and another man entered the bar about 10:55 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2014, ordering people to the floor. One of the robbers fired a shot into the ceiling.
A retired St. Louis officer who was having a drink at the bar shot and wounded Davis and Wade. A third suspect was later arrested but never charged in the crime.
During the gunfire, authorities say one of the three robbers shot bar patron Diana Lawrence, 63, in the back of the head. Lawrence, of St. Louis, died the next day. Three other people in the bar, including the retired officer, were injured in the shootout.
In the plea agreement with Davis and Wade, prosecutors dropped first-degree murder charges, which could have meant life with no parole.
At Tuesday’s sentencing, Lawrence’s relatives and friends spoke of their grief over Lawrence’s death and fear that remains since the shooting.
“It destroyed me,” said Billie Wilson, who was in the bar the night of the shooting. “I’m not the same person.”
Davis’ uncle, Rayshaun Williams, said more than one person made bad choices to use guns that night, referring to the former police officer in the bar. Williams said he thinks gun laws need to be stricter to deter people from making poor choices involving guns.
“In this case, there are no winners,” Williams said. “We lost my nephew. They lost their family member.”
“Pooh” was a nickname for the bar’s original owner, but the name stayed and gave rise to the tavern’s slogan: “Police Officers Official Hiding Spot.”