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Beloved former high school athlete shot, killed leaving funeral in St. Louis

Darius Houston was shot in north St. Louis Thursday morning

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis community is mourning the loss of a young man who died after someone shot him as he left a funeral in north St. Louis Thursday morning.

It happened in the 5500 block of Gilmore Avenue, which is in the Walnut Park East neighborhood.

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, 20-year-old Darius Houston of Hazelwood, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A 5 On Your Side photographer who was at the scene said there was a funeral going on. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact SLMPD’s homicide division directly at 314-444-5371, or anyone with a tip who wants to remain anonymous and is interested in a reward can contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.

According to the police report, a 38-year-old man is a suspect in the case. It’s unclear if he’s in custody.

Houston was a high school athlete in the Webster Groves School District and St. Mary's. He graduated from St. Mary's in 2018. 

Credit: Bryan Turner

St. Mary's High School shared the following tweet, 

'It is with a broken heart and great sadness that we report the tragic loss of a very young Dragon, Darius Houston '18. He was a much-beloved son and friend. He was famous for always wearing a smile. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, and to others that loved him.

St. Mary’s High School basketball head coach Bryan Turner shared the following message on Twitter,

‘This is crazy! My stomach is in knots. I’m deeply saddened by the news of Darius. I pray that God will grant his family and friends the strength during this dark time. Rest easy young brother. #RIP35💔’

Webster Groves basketball also shared the following tweet,

‘Heartbroken for the Houston family today. Family will be in our prayers. Any guys that played with him and are hurting don’t hesitate to reach out.’

Mike England, head of the leadership team at St. Mary's High School, also shared the following message on social media,

'Heartbroken to learn of the passing today of Dragon Darius Houston. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest In Peace.'

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