Homicide No. 20: Nicholas Kapusniak, St. Louis Pharmacy Student, Killed in Drive-By Shooting

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Nick "Kappy" Kapusniak died after a drive-by shooting early Saturday morning.
Nicholas Kapusniak, a twenty-year-old pharmacy student living in St. Louis, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting early Saturday morning in the Fox Park neighborhood.

He was hanging out with friends in the back yard of a house party in the 2700 block of Accomac Street just before 1 a.m. when an unknown gunman started firing from a white sedan in the alley, striking Kapusniak in the upper left torso, according to a police report. Partygoers carried Kapusniak inside, where first responders would later declare him dead.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police say they're at a loss to explain why a shooter would target the house party. "There was no direct one-on-one confrontation that provoked this," St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

See also: Three Shootings Leave Three Dead, Teen Injured (Homicides No. 10,11 & 12)

Friends can't explain why Kapusniak would be targeted, either. One friend who said Kapusniak didn't use drugs went to Reddit to ask St. Louisans if the Fox Park neighborhood was dangerous or known for gang affiliations.

"He was just about the nicest kid you could meet and a great friend," the friend posts on Reddit. "That's why we're all so at a loss."

Kapusniak moved from Waukesha, Wisconsin, to study at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where he was set to graduate in 2017. Kapusniak had just earned his white pharmacist's coat, a symbolic rite of passage for pharmacy students halfway through their studies.

Friends remember Kapusniak as a happy-go-lucky music lover who went by the nickname "Kappy" to make people smile. He played drums in a band called the Rxtions and joined the professional-pharmaceutical fraternity Alpha Zeta Omega.

Jacob Beyer, the fraternity president, was at the party with about twenty other people when Kapusniak was shot, he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"We were just hanging out," Beyer says. "There are gangs in the area. There is no one that would want to hurt him."

Continue reading for more on Kapusniak's life.

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65 comments
dierad53
dierad53

It appears there have been no update in Nick's case.  I feel for his family as they have to live with his murders still being out there.  I cant stand all this talk about "White upper middle class kid gets killed".  Respect Nick and keep all of this socio economic factors out of it.  He didn't deserve this. 

Zack Ziaja
Zack Ziaja

Adam, I am not disrespecting him. We all lose friends, sometimes in horrific manners. You have no idea what you are talking about if you don't realize white privilege plays a part in how the media covers events. I am sorry for you loss, but your loss doesn't change the reality of the media bias of upper middle class student dying from a drive by to the incalculable violence that gets labeled as "black on black" crime that might get a minute on a news broadcast once.

Adam Schweitzer
Adam Schweitzer

Zack, you have no idea what you're talking about. Of course there are murders every day. This is getting so much attention because his friends are spreading the word about how horrific this was and trying to make a change. I have seen hundreds of posts from his friends (like me) on social media. It's not fair to say its because he was a white pharmacy student. That doesn't change the fact that he was an amazing person who had his whole life ahead of him to do real good in the community. So don't disrespect him.

Jeff Richardson
Jeff Richardson

Jason Goad, couldn't have said it better myself, we'll worded man, wish everyone would see things this way

Darsell Ellis
Darsell Ellis

That's why folks need to stop worrying bout Europe and concentrate on OUR problems!

Ed Krom
Ed Krom

East St. Louis was the "Concerned Location" in the 50's. Now it appears "it" crossed the river. Not only in St Louis but in most high density populations of our democracy!

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Quinn Travis - you are so clueless. So very clueless. Pretending the problem doesn't exist does not make it go away.

Zack Ziaja
Zack Ziaja

Sadly, this is getting so much press because this is a white kid. There are senseless murders every day but because they are not white pharmacy students, the news doesn't find it interesting. Welcome to the mainstream media.

Quinn Travis
Quinn Travis

Jason Goad I can really relate to how you feel bcuz I grew up with a father who said and thought a lot like you. He lived in his own little world where he based his opinions on the news, which any person with any common sense at all knows thats not a reliable source. He put all black people into this big pot so to speak and tried to convince me black men wrre all violent men who didnt have jobs, never took care of their kids, and who made babies and took off......that was then, today he sings a much different tune. Thankfully, haveing 4 biracial grandchildren, a black son n law helped change his views, but more than that, he realized through being a business owner and having had manu different men work for him that those negative attributes arent a "black" issue, they are a social, economic and environmental issue. Period. Im not making excuses for anyone, but let's be real here....take this senario and ask yourself what most likely the outcome would be....take a baby-born to a single mother in her teens-poor-living in a crime infested community-on welfare-lack of family values-no parenting skills-possibly drug addictions or abuse-lack of supervision or rules......you think a kind, gentle, responsible and successful person is going to just miraculously come out of that? Maybe, hopefully, but sadly not likely. I know many successfull black people, maybe you need to get out more. Just saying.

Deron Kleinheider
Deron Kleinheider

I would not necessarily call it "racial tensions" as it appears to be more gang related, and the races of these gangs are very similar....still a tragedy, and I agree on the CCW aspect. You will notice a lot of these murders that others will call race related, are in fact, just random acts of violence...

Dominique SimonSchwentker
Dominique SimonSchwentker

Kinloch? I went back there this summer looking for a homeless shelter that I am indebted to...nothing but a concrete slab and stick weeds. So sad. Kinloch is a historical landmark and is now an empty shell.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

surprised the media hasn't labeled this "The Killing Game", in order to protect those that would do such a thing. Only in Saint Louis do they blame the victims...

Elizabeth Keith Merideth
Elizabeth Keith Merideth

I was there on the fall of '89 and lived in the dorms. There were 12 murders during that fall on Euclid. Very scary!

Barbara Brown Lyon
Barbara Brown Lyon

This upsets me so much. I have four former students in school there. I hate to think this could happen to them -- or to anyone! It also makes me fearful to go to the city for entertainment.

Dani Luna
Dani Luna

What's he doing partying on Accomac in S St. Louis, even I know better than to be anywhere near that street.

Bridget Scott
Bridget Scott

was this actually a drive by, thats what the cops want to call it. something sounds fishie. let's move the mardi gras to chesterfield. how about moving the taste of clayton to chesterfield.

Kyle DB
Kyle DB

Gangs need to be destroyed. Vigilantism should be brought back. Any gang signs or tats is an indicator. Dead or alive bounty shall be paid. It's time for these neighborhoods to take a stand and take out the garbage.

Stephen Martin
Stephen Martin

Jason Goad, great job being absolutely racist with your assumptions. You are part of the problem.

katjett68
katjett68

@RiverfrontTimes This happened a couple of streets over from where I grew up, and I'm in tears reading this, so very tragic. :(

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Do we know if their are a lot of blacks in the area? 

Jason Goad
Jason Goad

There's a difference between racism and speaking the truth. The truth is that the perpetrators of this shooting were black men. They are killing each other all the time. They can't get together without fighting or shooting each other. Every morning I turn on the news and see another person killed by an unidentified black male. I'm certain it has to do with economics and family dynamics. However I grew up poor without a father , but im not running the streets like an animal. Willing to murder someone over a slight or a few dollars or a cell phone. They scream about not being treated as equals and the white man keeping them down. Meanwhile they are killing each other faster and more frequently than the white man. Take responsibility for yourself and be a productive part of society. The rest of us should arm ourselves and not hesitate to kill anyone who would cause you harm. They certainly won't hesitate to rob, rape and kill someone you love or even each other. You want to be treated as a human being than conduct yourself as one.

Galin Rizov
Galin Rizov

Then I would have to worry about some psychopath armed to the teeth. Better do the StopAndFrisk that they do in NYC and flood the streets with cops. Although, STL is so spreadout that prob wont work

Quinn Travis
Quinn Travis

Sad, senseless tragedy:-( I just dont understand WHY race has to be brought up in EVERYTHING!!!!!??? Why dont we try focusing on the HUMAN RACE and stop blaming, justifying and stereotyping! It makes me so sad and frustrated. He was a HUMAN BEING who was killed by another HUMAN BEING. Period. For those that assume the shooter was black, what do you say when a white pedophile kills a innocent little girl....or a white kid walks into a school and kills numerous children???? Just stop with the racism! We dont need u in our city!

Cara Harlan
Cara Harlan

Consider a title change. The victim's identity and humanity is more important than his "number".

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

I know it's a minor detail of the article and off the main point, but Rxtions is the perfect name for a band made of pharmacy students.

Karen Hall
Karen Hall

Not even having read the article, I am 100% sure I can guess the area where this happened. Tell me again that there isn't a problem.

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

(Trust me, this is 'on point'. Keep reading...) As a nurse, I had an Alzheimer's patient that hadn't said a word - or even opened her eyes - in many years. Two weeks before she died, one of my CNAs pushed her wheelchair past the nurse's desk, headed into the dining room for lunch. With her eyes always closed, she unexpectedly said, "Do you know what, Honey?" The CNA attempted to stop her from speaking! I silently raised my hand in a motion to keep the CNA from disturbing her. I calmly answered her, "No, what, Sweetie? Her one sentence reply - and her last words - were the most poignant words I have ever heard in my life. She replied, "Human beings are the nastiest animals!" I ran around the nurse's station and, even though she never saw it coming, gave her a huge hug and a kiss. A big smile spread across her face. She went on to lunch - and died two weeks later. Her last sentence was the best she'd eve spoken in her entire life!

Caroline Truelove
Caroline Truelove

This is very sad. My thoughts & prayers to the family. My son lives in the city & he loves it. But he says it has gotten worse & there are times he is concerned for his safety. I worry about him constantly. Until the city comes to terms on what is really happening & have more police in these areas it is going to continue. This is a great city with great colleges, parents are going to stop sending their children here in fear of their safety, then where will the tax revenue come from? You can't ho to an event downtown in fear of your car getting broken into or mugged. It's a terrible shame when it has to coming down to carrying a concealed weapon to protect yourself. My heart breaks for this poor boys life that ended too soon because of low life thugs!

Smm0801
Smm0801

unlike the Treyvons of this world, there will be no excuses, no rallies for “justice”, no calls from the President. Why? Because the media isn't giving it enough attention. Because we as a society haven't stood up to say that we do not accept a BOY being murdered While standing in his backyard I won't label him black or white as you have done because either way it's unacceptable.

Smm0801
Smm0801

unlike the Treyvons of this world, there will be no excuses, no rallies for “justice”, no calls from the President. Why? Because the media isn't giving it enough attention. Because we as a society haven't stood up to say that we do not accept a BOY being murdered While standing in his backyard I won't label him black or white as you have done because either way it's unacceptable.

singler81
singler81

Yes, and when black on black crime happens who speaks up? Everyone goes inside and peeks out the window and waits for the po po's to leave!

Smm0801
Smm0801

You have it so backwards. unlike the Treyvons of this world, there will be no excuses, no rallies for “justice”, no calls from the President. Why? Because the media isn't giving it enough attention. Because we as a society haven't stood up to say that we do not accept a BOY being murdered While standing in his backyard I won't label him black or white as you have done because either way it's unacceptable.

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

@Guest That is sad because when someone innocent like Nicholas has to be lumped in with a class of people who've benefited from historical privilege that leverages their having opportunities the rest of us don't get, he isn't given much sympathy. I'm sure he was as wonderful as any, just remember all the wonderful innocents of minority groups, like Native Americans that you also NEVER hear of any rallies for ....

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

And when you know the recent history of places like Alabama where people were run out on a rail, literally, for trying to help Blacks rise above their circumstances. Until recently it was illegal to even teach Blacks to read! But the prevailing white opinion is thats the victim's fault. When are we going to stop letting the Oligarchy divide and conquer us along racial and classist lines?  Its why we all feel like disenfranchised losers and we should blame the Leaders, not the poorest and least powerful among us.

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

The centuries of violent racial crimes by the KKK until the 60's don't count as gangs?   People work together to fight back when attacked so don't blame the "gangs" unless you blame ALL the gangs, including the KKK. When we all stop blaming each other and put the blame on the racist system then innocents like Nicholas won't be the collateral damage. 

The Democratic Party was started by a man who was popular because he wanted to maintain slavery and rid the land of Native Americans .... that made people band together for safety.

Wonder what the ethnicity of those targeted would be and would many of the victims still alive today not harbor anger and resentment? ESPECIALLY when many of us today are too often pushed down thru the cracks by racist teachers, etc. 

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

Only in Saint Louis do they blame the victims... yeah, right. That has become America's theme.

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

The centuries of violent racial crimes by the KKK until the 60's don't count as gangs?   People work together to fight back when attacked so don't blame the "gangs" unless you blame ALL the gangs, including the KKK. When we all stop blaming each other and put the blame on the racist system then innocents like Nicholas won't be the collateral damage. 


The Democratic Party was started by a man who was popular because he wanted to maintain slavery and rid the land of Native Americans .... that made people band together for safety.

Wonder what the ethnicity of those targeted would be and would many of the victims still alive today not harbor anger and resentment? ESPECIALLY when many of us today are too often pushed down thru the cracks by racist teachers, etc.


soulardrez
soulardrez

@dalediversity  I don't like how you asked if there were a lot of "blacks", a color of skin doesn't define a crime- relatively speaking there would be more instances of Hispanic or Bosnian population around the city as well....and it's technically "there are"

uk.paleli
uk.paleli

The centuries of violent racial crimes by the KKK until the 60's don't count as gangs?   People work together to fight back when attacked so don't blame the "gangs" unless you blame ALL the gangs, including the KKK. When we all stop blaming each other and put the blame on the racist system then innocents like Nicholas won't be the collateral damage. 


The Democratic Party was started by a man who was popular because he wanted to maintain slavery and rid the land of Native Americans .... that made people band together for safety.

Wonder what the ethnicity of those targeted would be and would many of the victims still alive today not harbor anger and resentment? ESPECIALLY when many of us today are too often pushed down thru the cracks by racist teachers, etc.

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