ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and more than a dozen members of the Board of Aldermen had lunch on Cherokee Street Friday at an open-air cafe just a block away from the scene of a murder-suicide that left four people dead.
“We’re here to show our support for the neighborhood,” Slay said. “This is a solid neighborhood in the city of St. Louis, it’s a thriving, vibrant neighborhood and we just want everyone to know that this is a great community.”
Police say they may never know what drove 59-year-old Ahmed Dirir of north St. Louis, the owner of A K Home Health Care, to open fire on his three employees at the Cherokee Place Business Incubator Thursday afternoon, killing all three before killing himself.
Those employees have been identified as Seaeed Abdulla, a 29-year-old male, and two females: Khadra Muse, 44, and Bernice Solomon-Redd, 54.
Lit candles and flowers sat on the sidewalk outside the Cherokee Place Business Incubator Friday. Alderman Kenneth Ortmann, whose Ward 9 includes Cherokee, stressed that the incident was not random.
“This isn’t, you know, someone going around just shooting people,” he said. “It was an isolated situation and I think everyone understands that but at the same time, it was sad and we have to deal with it and get through it.”
“I think it’s the type of thing that has the potential to happen anywhere but this is a great street,” Alderman Scott Ogilvie said. “This street is really a tremendous hub of local businesses in St. Louis. It really is a great meeting place for people of different cultures.”