A 23-year-old man was arrested for the shooting death of a 44-year-old homeless St. Louis man in broad daylight.
According to KMOV, Deshawn Thomas was taken into police custody on February 28 after allegedly shooting David Saldana at point-blank range after the two men were seen fighting in downtown St. Louis. Deshawn was detained as he entered a local library.
The day before, eyewitnesses claimed that the 23-year-old suspect shot the homeless man execution-style around 10 am near a Shell Gas Station. David was found on the sidewalk with a wound to his head. A video of the alleged shooting has gone viral.
In the disturbing footage, Deshawn allegedly stood near David as he tried to awkwardly load the gun reportedly used to kill the man– who was seated on the curb. A man recording the incident seemingly gave a play-by-play leading up to the shooting. Finally, he could be heard saying, “Oh my God. He just f**king killed him.”
*Warning: Disturbing Footage*
This was on Monday. pic.twitter.com/zKWob0qKH9
— 🔥⭐️Edwin⭐️🔥 (@Edwin07011) February 28, 2023
Although the video in the story doesn’t show the complete seven-minute footage, witnesses implored someone to call the police.
A jewelry store owner, Syed Sajid, arrived after the tragic incident unfolded and told KMOV, “Yeah, there was the construction guys in that building. There were works from the other building. So, it was shocking for the whole downtown. And a lot of people went up close seeing how his face looked. The way I look at it, if I was seven minutes earlier, I could’ve been caught up with it too.”
Syed continued, “It’s scary, you know, of course. You get concerned about what’s going to happen to anybody else. When I came here, I’d seen people standing outside. The guy was on the ground. I heard he was shot from close range.”
A spokesperson for the city of St. Louis issued a statement regarding the horrific shooting and residents’ concern for their safety.
“Through a collaboration of the Building Division, SLMPD, and the Law Department, the City works to hold nuisance property owners accountable. The Problem Properties Team meets regularly with the owner of the Shell gas station to review calls for service on the lot. The team has requested on-site security as well as security cameras, to which the property owners have complied. We continue to review best security practices, and we are in regular communication with the owner.”
Local business owner and member of the Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis Brad Waldrop expressed his angst about the potential financial impact the shooting could have on “economic activity” in the area. He owns a few properties in the area where the crime took place.
“Obviously, the loss of life is massive, but as a businessperson downtown, I’m also concerned about the effect this has on the economic activity in downtown St. Louis.”
The businessman also explained that the downtown area had been riddled with crime for a while.
“What I understand is the altercation began at the Shell station. That doesn’t surprise me at all,” Brad continued, “There’s been 20 shootings at the shell station since 2019, and there’s been 600 calls for service. It should’ve been shut down a long time ago. During the day, we only have one traffic cop and four bike cops, and that’s just not sufficient to maintain safety and to maintain the tax base.”
Syed focused on rising crime in the metropolis versus just the downtown area.
“It’s just not the gas station. I think it’s the whole city in general. More police enforcement maybe might help. They used to put the police satellites on this side. That was helping a lot. Probably enforcement might help the most because even yesterday, [the] guy was laying down here at least 10-15 minutes.”
Deshawn has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. And St. Louis police have not disclosed how the suspect and David were affiliated. And Deshawn reportedly had no prior police record.