ST. LOUIS — Homicide detectives are investigating after a man was shot to death Wednesday afternoon at a barbershop in The Grove.
Police identified the victim as 32-year-old Devin Trice of St. Louis.
St. Louis police said the shooting happened shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday inside Southside Barber and Beauty Salon, located at 4264 Manchester Ave. Responding officers found Trice shot inside the store with puncture wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the suspect, 31-year-old Tiron Bell of St. Louis, was found at the scene and taken into custody. He was charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and felon in possession of a firearm.
“I was outside, and then, one of the fellows who works at the shop came running up to me and told me to call 911," said Serge Patel, who runs a clothing store near the barbershop. "He said there's been a shooting. I was shocked."
He immediately called the St. Louis police.
A source familiar with the investigation said the shooting suspect roamed around the neighborhood with a rifle looking for someone. The suspect shot and killed Trice, a customer when he walked inside the barber shop.
"Yeah, it's unfortunate what happened," Patel said. "We're just trying to make this neighborhood and all the neighborhoods in the city like a safe place for people to come visit. I've been in business here in the Grove for four years and I've never seen this kind of violence happen here. I feel bad for the victim and his family."
Family members tell 5 On Your Side Devin Trice had three little girls and a baby on the way.
Investigators are also checking to see if the deadly shooting was a case of mistaken identity, the police source said.
On Sunday, family and friends of Trice will gather at Tiffany Park in south St. Louis and honor him with a balloon release.
Anyone with information about the homicide was asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-231-1212.
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.