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Suspect 'started shooting everywhere' after confrontation over fireworks in south St. Louis County, victim says

Victim Porcha Everage recounted the moment her neighbor opened fire on her family as they were celebrating July 4

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A suspect is in custody after police said he shot three people during a July Fourth celebration and then barricaded himself in a home early Monday morning.

Donald Meek, 27, has been charged with three counts each of second-degree assault and armed criminal action.

The St. Louis County Police Department's South County Precinct responded to the shooting at 1:22 a.m. at Gentry and Goetz avenues in Lemay. It was originally a call for fireworks.

Officers arrived to find two women and a 9-year-old boy with gunshot wounds. They were all taken to area hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Porcha Everage, 29, said she was one of the women who was shot. She spoke to 5 On Your Side after she was released from the hospital Monday morning. 

It all started when Meek walked up to the group as they were setting off fireworks outside their home on Goetz Avenue. He is well known in the neighborhood for causing problems, Everage said.

“Actually when he came up, we were just getting done, and we were trying to explain that to them that we were done, you know, you can go back home. He wasn’t going for it, he was telling us we need to go back in the house," Everage said. "So him and my guy was arguing, so I kind of stepped in between them and told him ‘you can go back home.’"

That's when Meek pushed her, Everage said. Her brother then hit him, and Meek pulled out his gun and "started shooting everywhere.”

Everage was shot through her left breast and grazed in the stomach. Her 40-year-old sister-in-law was shot in the foot and all of her toes were broken, requiring surgery. Her nephew was shot in the shin, Everage said.

"He’s handling it better than I expected," she said. "Being a kid, getting shot, that’s the last thing anyone wants to happen, you know.”

She and her family are in a state of disbelief about what happened. "I would have never imagined this to happen."

Police said Meek then barricaded himself in his home in the 300 block of Goetz Avenue. The department's tactical operations unit responded to the scene and he was taken into custody without incident about three hours later. Police found a .45 caliber handgun in his backyard.

"I came out to my driveway to walk around and you wouldn't believe all the police cars and ambulances and everything," neighbor Mary Catherine Jones said.

Jones said she woke up to the sound of a woman screaming. She isn't surprised to hear of Meek's arrest, saying he's been involved in several confrontations since moving to the normally quiet neighborhood recently.

"Just about anybody around here could tell you they've had some kind of dealing with him," she said.

Credit: St. Louis County PD

"It was a lot of us out here. It could have been worse. A lot worse," Everage said.

Meek is being held on $200,000 cash-only, no 10% bond. 

The department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 636-529-8210 or 1-866-371-TIPS(8477).