Deshawn Thomas is the 23-year-old man accused of shooting a man to death as he sat on a curb in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 27, 2023, a scene captured in a viral, and graphic, video, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The video that captures the shooting has had more than 6.1 million views. The graphic video shows a man pointing a gun at the victim and a gunshot is heard as the suspect fires at the man before the camera pans away.
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Thomas is accused of killing the victim “after a fight” near a Shell gas station. The Post-Dispatch reported that the victim, David Saldana, who may have been homeless, “was found killed on the sidewalk shortly after 10 a.m. Monday in front of The Globe Building near Tucker and Convention Plaza.”
Warning: The video below contains disturbing content.
The Video Shows Victim Being Shot While Sitting on the Sidewalk
The full video starts with two people standing next to the victim, who is initially lying down on the sidewalk. “Call the police dude, this guy’s got a f****** gun,” a man who is not seen on video says.
The man then said the man standing over victim had a gun and told people to call 911.
The video then shows the victim sitting on the sidewalk while another man lingers behind him. At the end of the video, the man moves forward and suddenly shoots the victim without provocation.
“He just put a magazine in. He’s still trying to load it,” said a man who is off-screen as the video records. The caption with the tweet said the shooting happened on Monday, February 27, 2023, in St. Louis, Missouri.
“Oh my God, he just f****** killed him,” a man’s voice says in the video.
The Post-Dispatch newspaper reported that police arrested Thomas after he “ran from the scene,” and added that “a bystander video of the killing circulated online Tuesday.”
St. Louis Police Major Ryan Cousins said in a video interview published on the Post-Dispatch website that, at 10:08 a.m. on Monday, a call came in of a shooting. When police arrived, they found a light-skinned Black male, probably Middle Eastern, deceased, Cousins said. The victim was probably in his 40s, he said in that video interview.
Witnesses told police that there was “some kind of altercation. This began across the street” at the gas station and moved to that location, Cousins added. He said he did not know what the argument was about, but shots were fired, and the victim was “chased across the street and shot at this location.”
Cousins said that police think the suspect and victim may be “unhoused,” and that the suspect left the scene. He said it was “very much so” when asked if the homicide was unnerving.
Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley Retweeted the Video, Calling for the City’s Top Prosecutor ‘To Go’
United States Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, retweeted the video, writing, “Kim Gardner must go. Prosecute the criminals.”
Gardner, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, is under fire for the unrelated case of a man who was out on bail when he is accused of causing a crash in which a teenage volleyball player lost her legs, according to Fox2Now.
Gardner, who has been the city’s top prosecutor since 2017, also has supporters; members of the Community Justice Coalition rallied in support of her, the television station reported, adding that Gardner says her office asked a judge to revoke that defendant’s bond to no avail. Gardner, a Democrat who was previously a state representative, won re-election in 2020 and her term ends in 2025, according to Ballotpedia.
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