Children, grandmother among 4 fatally shot in St. Louis-area

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- A young sister and brother, their grandmother and another woman were fatally shot inside a St. Louis-area home. The suspect exchanged gunfire with police early Saturday, fled and was taken into custody seven hours later at a convenience store where he had sought shelter.

Three victims were found dead inside the home in St. Charles, Missouri, a city of about 70,000 people on the Missouri River northwest of St. Louis. The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis identified them as Zoe Kasten, 8; her brother, Jonathan Kasten, 10, and their grandmother, Jane Moeckel, 61, all from St. Charles.

The fourth victim, a woman who has yet to be identified, was taken to a local hospital and died there, said St. Charles Police Lt. Tom Wilkison.

Police stopped the suspect, identified only as a 46-year-old man, as he tried to drive away from the home just after midnight Saturday, and a short gun battle followed. The suspect then fled on foot, tried unsuccessfully to steal a woman's car, stabbed her and fled again on foot. Her injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.

The suspect was taken into custody at a convenience store a few miles away at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. He also was injured, and Wilkison said he remained in a local hospital Saturday.

Police were called to the scene by a call from within the home a few minutes before midnight Friday, though they were not saying who made it.

"During that phone call, the 911 operator could hear gunshots in the background," Wilkison told The Associated Press.

Authorities did not provide details about the weapon the suspect used or his potential motives. They also did not know whether he was injured while exchanging shots with police or at another time.

Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies and helicopter and SWAT units converged in the neighborhood where the shootings occurred and cordoned it off but couldn't find the suspect until he was reported at the convenience store.

"My sense is that he went in there, was seeking shelter. It was really cold last night," said Capt. Scott Will of the Major Case Squad, leading the investigation.
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