Updated at 7 p.m. with new details
ST. LOUIS — Two men were killed and two wounded in a quadruple shooting in north St. Louis on Wednesday that police say is connected to an SUV accident on Interstate 70.
The SUV crashed at I-70 and Bircher Boulevard shortly after the shooting about 4:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of Plover Avenue in Walnut Park East, police said. Shells from rifle rounds littered the block.
The SUV had traveled down Plover before crashing blocks away on I-70, Lt. Col. Gerald Leyshock said. Two men who had been inside the SUV had gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.
A third man was found in a car in the 4900 block of Plover with gunshot wounds, Leyshock said. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
A fourth shooting victim arrived at a hospital shortly after the shooting, police said. The male victim had a gunshot to his back but police did not have more details on his condition.
Leyshock said investigators had not confirmed if the men were targeted or were engaged in a gunbattle, but that police found shell casings nearby that were from at least two different guns.
Investigators did not find any weapons from the cars and had not confirmed if there were other occupants in the SUV or car.
"I think it’d be better to wait and see what our investigation shows," Leyshock said. "They may be related, maybe they’re not.”
Police believe the men were in their late 20s to early 30s.
Officers responding to the shooting on Plover first found the man in the car in the 4900 block, Leyshock said. They soon after found the SUV on fire on I-70.
After the SUV crashed, residents nearby ran to the vehicle to try to help the occupants and pulled the two men fatally shot from inside, Leyshock said. The neighborhood, which Leyshock used to patrol earlier in his career, is tight-knit, he said.
“I’m not surprised neighbors would run out there and risk their lives to try to save their lives. I think it’s pretty awesome,” he said.
Investigators were looking through the area with canines and attempting to interview witnesses after the shooting. Leyshock asked anyone with information to call to contact St. Louis Police or CrimeStoppers online or at 1-866-371-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
"We have a lot of work to do, a lot of scientific work to do, and we’re going to need some help with some witnesses, hopefully."
Chauncey Hudson was northbound on I-70 toward his home in Bridgeton and came upon the crashed SUV shortly after the shooting happened, he said.
"I’m really sick of this," Hudson said. "People love to hate and hate to love. It’s just disheartening."