The Latest: Family says slain utility worker loved outdoors

AP News
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Posted: Apr 21, 2017 1:05 PM
The Latest: Family says slain utility worker loved outdoors

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the killings of two utility workers in St. Louis (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A utility worker who was shot to death on the job in St. Louis is being remembered as a "hardworking young man who loved the outdoors and being on the farm."

Twenty-seven-year-old Alex Boschert was one of two utility workers killed Thursday. Police say the gunman then shot himself.

Boschert's family says in a prepared statement to The Associated Press that he treasured his family and friends.

Police identified the shooter as 51-year-old Clinton Willis.

Willis has a long criminal history dating more than 20 years that includes convictions on drug trafficking, assault and armed criminal action.

Police declined to discuss a possible motive, saying only that the shooting didn't appear to be racially motivated. Willis was black and both workers were white.

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11:25 a.m.

St. Louis police have released the names of two utility workers who were shot to death, along with the name of the man they say shot the workers before turning the gun on himself.

The shooting happened Thursday morning as the Laclede Gas employees were working in a residential area in St. Louis. Police on Friday identified the workers as 27-year-old Alex Boschert and 52-year-old William Froelich.

The shooter is identified as 51-year-old Clinton Willis.

Police declined to discuss a possible motive, saying only that the shooting didn't appear to be racially motivated. Willis was black and both workers were white.

Willis has a long criminal history dating more than 20 years that includes convictions on drug trafficking, assault and armed criminal action. Court records show he was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 1997.

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9:20 a.m.

St. Louis utility workers are back in the field but taking extra precautions after the fatal shooting of two natural gas company employees.

A gunman walked up to the Laclede Gas Co. workers Thursday and began shooting, before walking away and turning the gun on himself. The workers and the gunman have not been identified.

Police believe the victims were picked at random. But there was enough concern for Laclede Gas and electric company Ameren Missouri to pull all of their workers from St. Louis' streets Thursday. Two other utilities, Missouri American Water and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, removed workers from the area where the shooting happened.

On Friday, water meter readers were given the option of working in pairs. Other crews were given safety reminders.

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1 a.m.

Investigators are trying to determine what led a gunman to open fire on two utility workers in a residential neighborhood in St. Louis, killing both of them before fatally shooting himself.

Police say the gunman walked up to the two men who worked for Laclede Gas on Thursday morning and started shooting, then turned the gun on himself. Police Capt. Mary Warnecke said, "It does not appear words were exchanged."

Both Laclede Gas and the electric company Ameren Missouri pulled workers from the streets for the rest of the day as a precaution.

Police described the St. Louis shooter as black, and both victims as white, but there was no indication the shooting was racially motivated.

The names of the shooter and the men he killed have not been released.