A 13-year-old from Missouri surrendered to police Wednesday morning after an elderly couple in their 70s were shot and critically wounded at a beauty supply store following a suspected shoplifting.
The teen, who stands just under 5 feet tall, turned herself in to law enforcement at about 10 a.m. and was transferred into the custody of St. Louis County Family Court, officials reported in a Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department statement provided to InsideEdition.com.[restrict]
She was dropped off at the station by family members, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The unnamed girl was wanted after being suspected of shooting a man and woman in their 70s in King’s Beauty Supply, according to the statement.
The man and the woman from O’Fallon are critically injured but alive after being shot in the torso, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, although officers mistakenly believed the woman had died of her injuries overnight.
The 13-year-old African-American girl, who is often seen in the area, first arrived at the King’s Beauty Supply on Tuesday accompanied by another juvenile, according to police.
Staff members said the pair were suspected of shoplifting, and after the items that some believe to be hair extensions were returned to the store, the girls were kicked out and warned not to return, the police press release reported. The alleged shoplifting incident was not reported at the time.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it was the elderly couple, believed to be the parents of the Korean store owners, who originally handled the situation. The 70-year-olds do not speak much English, and the store has been owned by the same family for more than a decade.
A few hours later, the police were called after the two minors returned to the store.
One of the pair was taken into custody after officers discovered a juvenile warrant for her arrest.
The 13-year-old was released at that time and issued a formal warning with the approval of the couple, KMOV reported. But she reportedly returned shortly after. This time, she was armed, cops say.
The girl went back to the store after 4 p.m. and shot both the man and the woman before leaving with merchandise, according to police.
A witness said she was only in the store for less than a minute, before she “came running out, swinging in her right hand a revolver as she ran,” Detective Lt. Shawn Applegate from the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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It is unclear where the 13-year-old got the gun, police say.
Cops say she fled the scene before they named her a person of interest before she turned herself in the next morning.
The investigation is ongoing and police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department or Crimestoppers at 1-866-371-8477. [/restrict]