U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– On May 27, 2022, at Clay’s Wellston Food Market in Missouri, next to the Illinois border on the east side of St. Louis, a man “openly carrying” an AR15 type rifle, under a jacket, with a “gun sleeve” on the rifle, was accosted by an armed man who approached him from behind and demanded the rifle and the jacket. From ksdk.com:
Major Ron Martin with the North County Police Cooperative spoke to 5 On Your Side after the shooting. He said that moments before the shooting, a customer with a rifle had entered the grocery store.
Martin said the patron was “open carrying” the rifle in a gun sleeve underneath an article of clothing and did not threaten anyone while inside the store.
The robbery did not go well for the robber, who turned out to be a career criminal. It seems the owner of the rifle objected to the theft. Strenuously. With gunfire. From fox2now.com:
According to court documents obtained by FOX2, surveillance footage captured Booker putting a gun to the head of the rifle-toting individual before he took the AR-15 and a jacket. The footage also showed him wielding a pistol he possessed, in addition to the stolen AR-15 rifle while several others were present.
Police say the victim of the stolen rifle fired shots at Booker, who was struck multiple times. That victim left the scene, but police believe another man returned moments later and also shot the man who took the rifle.
Officers found Booker laying in front of the store with several gunshot wounds. He was treated for his injuries at a hospital. Authorities served a warrant for Booker’s arrest on Tuesday. Booker is scheduled for an arraignment hearing in the case for June 6.
Fox2now.com reported Brooker is identified as a felon by Missouri court records and has a long criminal rap sheet.
Unfortunately, this correspondent has not been able to locate a video of the event. By the description, there are several ways an AR15 type rifle could be both “underneath an article of clothing” and “in a gun sleeve”, and described as “open carry”. Neither of the options are common ways to “open carry”. To this correspondent, they appear uninspired attempts at clumsy concealment. As Missouri has Constitutional Carry, it does not matter very much in the eyes of the law.
A gun sleeve is a less used term for a gun case or gun sock. There are many ways an AR15 rifle might be carried “in a gun sleeve” and “under an article of clothing”.
One article reported the victim retrieved the rifle and left with it; another said the second man who shot Brooker took the rifle with him. Neither of the men who shot the robber appears to have been wounded, but two bystanders where hit with stray bullets. From insider.com:
The victim fled with his rifle while the accused robber, who had been shot several times, remained on the scene. A third man then also shot him, police said.
Clay’s Wellston Market has been reported as a hotspot for crime, serious trouble and drug dealing. A police officer was killed there on June 23 of 2019. From ksdk.com:
In fact, Martin said officers have received more than 1,200 calls for service to the location in the last year and a half.
“Disturbances, property damage, bad checks, shots heard, stolen vehicle, 911 hang up,” Martin said as he read through a list of police logs from November 2017 to July 2019.
The offenses during that time, he said, range from quality of life crimes like panhandling and intoxicated subjects to violent felonies like shootings and fighting.
“If you pull up the Missouri criminal code, I can tell you every crime listed in there has probably happened at this location,” Martin said.
On June 23, the problem hit close to home.
That’s the day Martin’s coworker and brother in blue, Officer Michael Langsdorf, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Bad things happen in criminal hotspots. Even there, criminals refrain from murder when a threat of death will do, and there are numerous witnesses. It did not work out well for Mr. Brooker. Confronting an armed man, and threatening them with death, is a very high-risk scenario. If criminals or other predators misjudge such risks, they do not last long.
If we are able to see the video, we can make a better determination of how the rifle was carried and what happened.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.