17-year-old to be tried as adult in murder of 72-year-old man

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

A 17-year-old will be tried as an adult 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 robbery, but an investigation revealed his connection with the February shooting.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. February 10 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.

Richard Donaldson, 17, has been charged with second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, resisting arrest, two counts of armed criminal action, leaving the scene of an accident, and stealing in connection with the shooting death of Spalter. He is being held on a $750,000 cash-only bond.

Donaldson was 16 years old when he was accused of killing Spalter during a carjacking. He allegedly fatally shot Spalter in the neck during a scuffle over a backpack containing an iPad.

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.”

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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