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Two men slain near St. Louis University; Greitens rushes to help

Two men slain near St. Louis University; Greitens rushes to help

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ST. LOUIS — Two men were killed Monday night near St. Louis University in a shooting heard by former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who along with a friend ran to help the victims.

Police were called about 8:15 p.m. to Lindell and North Grand boulevards, outside St. Francis Xavier College Church, for a report of a shooting. The scene was near the north boundary of St. Louis University.

Arie Bagsby, 20, and Omar Harris, 21, died after being shot multiple times. Bagsby lived in the 7600 block of Taber Drive in Hanley Hills. Harris lived in the 5200 block of Ridge Avenue in St. Louis.

Police on Tuesday didn’t know who killed them.

The victims had been in a Nissan Rogue SUV that police found riddled by bullets. The vehicle was stopped on Grand Boulevard, in front of the church.

Greitens went to the scene, telling KTVI television that he was in the area eating dinner with a friend when he heard 15 to 25 gunshots. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, said he put a tourniquet on one of the victims and his friend rendered first aid until paramedics arrived, the station reported.

Greitens was there with Gregg Favre, who’s the executive director of the St. Louis Area Regional Response System, which works with local governments in an eight-county region to allocate money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Favre said Tuesday that he and Greitens were sitting on the patio at Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante.

“We heard several shots fired and it was clear, if you’ve been around weapons, you can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots,” he said. “These were clearly gunshots.”

A vehicle went speeding past the restaurant on Lindell, Favre said. “So we leaned over the fence and I could see a vehicle in the middle of the intersection,” he said.

The two grabbed medical equipment from their vehicles and went to the scene.

Favre said one man, unconscious with no pulse, was already out of the SUV. Favre cut open the man’s shirt, saw what looked like several gunshot wounds and started CPR. He was joined by SLU public safety officers and several nurses from SLU who ran over to help, Favre said.

The other victim was several yards away near an apartment complex, and Greitens and others were helping that person, Favre said.

Bagsby and Harris died at a hospital, police said.

The area was cleared by about 10:45 p.m., according to a tweet from St. Louis University.

The deaths bring to at least 125 the number of homicides so far this year in St. Louis, compared to 99 during the same time last year.

“I feel like we say all of the right words in wanting to end violence, and I look forward to the day when we have a collaborative approach to meaningfully attack the urban violence,” said Favre, a past deputy director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and a former St. Louis fire captain. “There is no solution for our city that doesn’t involve all of us trying to figure this out.”

Kim Bell • 314-340-8115 @kbellpd on Twitter kbell@post-dispatch.com

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