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Illinois man facing murder charges in shooting death of man trying to steal car in Soulard

Gas station surveillance video revealed that Brett Kress chased after a man and shot him after the man tried to steal his car, police said.

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office has charged a Sauget, Illinois, man in a fatal shooting that occurred in St. Louis’ Soulard neighborhood in early January.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said Brett Kress, 26, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Jesse Lopez, 24. 

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 7, officers responded to a call for a shooting on the 1300 block of Gravois Avenue and found Lopez unresponsive and suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot of a Conoco gas station. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to a probable cause statement, gas station surveillance video revealed that Lopez had tried to steal Kress' car and Kress shot at him. Lopez then tried to run away and Kress chased after him, firing several shots, police said. Lopez was struck three times.

Kress was later apprehended in St. Charles County after fleeing into Illinois.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
26-year-old Brett Kress

Kress has a previous conviction of aggravated battery against a victim over the age of 60, for which he was sentenced to two years of imprisonment in St. Clair County, police said.

5 On Your Side will update this story as soon as information becomes available.

Resources for crime victims:

If you have been a victim of a crime or know someone who has been, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of resources.

Better Family Life is a nonprofit community development organization working to "stabilize inner-city neighborhoods." One aspect of its mission is a gun violence de-escalation program.

Life Outside of Violence "helps those harmed by stabbing, gunshot or assault receive the treatment, support and resources they need to find alternatives to end the cycle of violence."

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has an anti-crime program called “Safety Net for Youth Initiative,” which is a joint partnership with St. Louis Public Schools to provide services to at-risk youth.

Cure Violence is an international organization that has recently launched in a handful of St. Louis neighborhoods. Violence interrupters are trained to deescalate violent situations within their own communities.

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