16-year-old charged in connection with shooting death of man in Tower Grove South

There's relief among the people who live in the Tower Grove South neighborhood where the crime happened..

A 16-year-old was taken into custody Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of a 72-year-old man just south of Tower Grove Park.

According to a press release from St. Louis Metropolitan Police, the boy was taken into custody Sunday in connection with a separate Friday night robbery, but investigation revealed his connection with the Friday night shooting.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. on the 3800 block of Juniata Street in south St. Louis. Police said 72-year-old Kenneth Spalter was shot in the neck and died from his injuries.

The 16-year-old is being held at the Juvenile Courts for second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in connection with the shooting death of Spalter.

Neighbors said Spalter was a visitor to the area, in town for a new grandchild.

“We’re here to pay our respects to him,” said Barbara Gilchrist, the president of the Tower Grove Heights Neighborhood Association. “We’re here to, at least symbolically, stand with the family that has been directly impacted by this family.”

Gilchrist led a candlelight vigil for the victim Sunday night. Dozens gathered at the corner of Juniata and Gustine, then walked up and down the block on Juniata. Along the way, they passed a tree wrapped in ribbons, sharing small messages of love for the family and the neighborhood.

“We’re filled with wonderful people who do care about their neighbors,” Gilchrist said. “They care about the neighborhood. They care about the city of St. Louis. And like everybody else, we want a neighborhood that is safe.”

Police say Spalter was getting out of his car when two men approached him and demanded his keys and car. Spalter fought with one of the suspects, who shot him. The two suspects ran away then got into a black car that was waiting nearby. 

Spalter was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The two suspects have not been identified.

An investigation is ongoing.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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