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Police: Witness cleared of wrongdoing in shooting of armed robber

A customer armed with a gun said he confronted and shot the suspect after watching him enter the QuikTrip and put a knife to the store clerk's throat.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — The St. Louis man who shot and killed a suspect in a violent St. Charles robbery spree last month will not face any charges.

The St. Charles Police Department confirmed in a Wednesday statement that the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office cleared the man of any wrongdoing. 5 On Your Side is not naming him as he has not been charged with a crime.

The man was a customer at the QuikTrip on 2260 First Capitol Dr. on July 16 when he witnessed an armed robbery. He then shot and killed the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Lance Bush of St. Louis.

According to police, Bush first entered a Mobil On The Run gas station just before 3 a.m. Bush allegedly threatened the store clerk with the knife. Police said Bush made the clerk open a cash register, and tried to get her to open a safe but she was unable to do so. Police say he then dragged her back to the front counter, where she opened a second cash register. 

Bush then stole the money and drove off in a black SUV, police said. The clerk was treated for non-life threatening lacerations left from the knife and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

As police responded to the armed robbery at the Mobil, they received a call for an alarm at the Phillips 66 on Capitol Drive. Broken glass there "indicated a burglary had just taken place," police said.

As they were investigating that incident, at 3:20 a.m. a report of an armed robbery and shots fired at the QuikTrip.

Police arrived to find Bush shot. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

A customer armed with a gun said he watched enter the QuikTrip and put a knife to the store clerk's throat. The customer then grabbed his handgun, entered the QuikTrip and shot Bush after a confrontation, according to police.

The customer spoke to 5 On Your Side the day after the shooting. 

RELATED: 'I know I did the right thing:' Customer shoots, kills armed robber at St. Charles QuikTrip

"Taking somebody's life is not an everyday thing, neither is saving someone's life," the customer, who wished to remain anonymous said.

The customer said he saw it all unfold from his car, parked in front of the QuikTrip.

"I walked up to the door and I saw him with a knife to her throat. She was emptying out the cash register and I took a step in and peeked my head in to ask if everything was okay. I couldn't see his face but he was saying yes, but I could see her face she was saying no, she was scared," he said.

"I pulled my gun up and I asked him are you sure everything's okay and that's when the suspect said 'no it's not okay, but I got something for you' and he grabbed his bag, ran from around the counter and started running towards me and that's when I fired shots," the customer said.

He told 5 On Your Side he recalls shooting four times before Bush fell to the floor. Shortly after he told the clerk to call the police, he did as well. 

"I don't think I honestly had a choice. He already had a knife at her throat, he could've pulled out something bigger than what I had then you would've had two people dead instead of one," he said.

The suspect's black SUV was later found to have been stolen Friday from Maryland Heights. Police said items stolen from the Phillips 66 gas station were found in the vehicle and they believed he was tied to all three incidents.


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