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Ex-pastor charged with rape at gunpoint, shooting woman dead

Thomas Bruce in his mugshot from the St. Louis County Jail.

A 53-year-old US man, who claims to be a former Navy veteran and evangelical pastor, has been charged by authorities with kidnapping, murder and sodomy.

Thomas (Tom) Bruce senior killed one woman at gunpoint and assaulted two others during a midday attack at a religious merchandise store in St. Louis County, Missouri, according to police as reported by Russia Today (RT) news channel website on Saturday.

In addition to being a pastor, the suspect had worked as a manager at a Jewish community center as well as having studied the Bible and counseling at Calvary Chapel Bible College. Also, he had recently filed for bankruptcy.

On November 19, 2018, the suspect entered the Catholic Supply store in St. Louis County at 03:20pm local time. He used a handgun to threaten the three women in the store to go into the back room of the shop where he made them do sexual acts. 

Two of the women consented to the assailant's sodomy demands and remained alive.

Jamie Schmidt, 53, who was a customer at the shop, declined and was shot the head. She later died in hospital.

Jamie Schmidt's photo (file)

Her mother, Connie Giffin, a resident of Ecuador, paid tribute to her daughter on Facebook, writing: 

“I don’t know how to express my feelings at this moment.  My daughter, Jamie Schmidt, was shot in the head and killed this afternoon while shopping in a Catholic Supply Store in Manchester, Missouri, near her home.  She has a husband and 3 children. I’m shaking and in shock as I write this but please do all you can to encourage your families to leave the US. Unfortunately none of my family shared my views on our country, now it is too late.”


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