Jeronnia Graves Stabbed at Downtown Library By Jealous Homeless Man (Homicide No. 48)

centrallibrarystab.JPG
The Central Library in downtown St. Louis.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police are still searching for the homeless man who stabbed another homeless man in the neck on the 13th Street steps to downtown's Central Library Wednesday morning.

Police found Jeronnia Graves, 41, whose last known address was in the 4500 block of Davidson Avenue, unconscious and bleeding from the neck at 10:37 a.m. Wednesday. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

See also: Homeless No More: Man From SLU Basketball Player's Viral Video Moves Into Living Center

Graves was walking with a female acquaintance when the suspect, a 47-year-old man and the woman's former boyfriend, ran up and started arguing with her about their past relationship, police said. Graves stepped in, so the suspect sliced him in the neck and ran away on foot.

The killing sent a wave of shock and sadness through downtown, especially at the Christ Church Cathedral across the street, where church secretary Carol Bledsoe was stabbed in the neck by a mentally ill homeless man twelve years ago.

"Any naivete our community had about serving Christ downtown disappeared that day," Dean Mike Kinman told his congregation. "But that day also was part of one of our finest hours...because what followed was a strong statement by this Cathedral that we would not close our doors and hide behind them but recommit ourselves to healing the very brokenness that took Carol's life."

The church held an evening prayer service in the rain Wednesday night at the site of the stabbing. Kinman says the church, which was put on lockdown after the homicide, will reevaluate security procedures and staffing.

"I pray God will use this tragedy to deepen our commitment to be a catalyst for transformation in this neighborhood, our city and the entire St. Louis region," Kinman wrote to his congregation.

See also: Homelessness in Downtown: Is New Life Evangelistic Center the Problem or the Solution?

Chris Rice, pastor at the New Life Evangelistic Center downtown homeless shelter, said both the victim and the murder suspect were homeless men who spent time in the area. Graves had recently gotten transportation aid from New Life, he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"People that are homeless are susceptible to acts of violence," Rice said. "There's less protection when a person doesn't have housing."

There have been 48 homicides in St. Louis City in 2014, according to police records.

Here's the full report from police:

Incident: Homicide

Location: 300 block of N. 13th

Date/Time: 5/14/14 @ 10:37

Victim: Jeronnia Graves, 41-year old black male of the 4500 block of Davidson

Suspect: 47-year old black male

Officers responded to the above address for a "cutting" and upon arrival, located the victim unconscious on the sidewalk and suffering from a laceration to the neck. The victim was conveyed to a local hospital and pronounced deceased. A female acquaintance reported to officers that she and the victim were walking together when they were approached by the suspect, who is the female's former boyfriend. The female and the suspect began to argue over their past relationship when the victim intervened. An argument ensued between the victim and the suspect, leading to the suspect cutting the victim. The suspect fled on foot and remains at large. The investigation is ongoing.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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17 comments
jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Offer 'reverend' rice a free vacant building to relocate too, something like the former powell square comes to mind. Also invite the area 'taggers' to decorate it for the new occupants. When he opens the doors for his press conference with everyone present implode it. Win win.

Soon Hee Green
Soon Hee Green

Sad to here crimes going on by newly remodeled library. ..beautiful place to hang out but discouraging.

mrbigq
mrbigq

I can't count how many times Pastor Rice's indigents have been confrontational with me downtown. There's a veritable plethora of nice north city properties they could do well in. Move them.

Lauren Rinker
Lauren Rinker

Very sad. We should respect our fellow mankind.

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Chris Rice has a lot of nerve showing up at the scene.  

Ron Tinsley
Ron Tinsley

Well the dead homeless guy is in a better place and the other will be have free room and board and food and shelter the rest of his life lol

Chris Unthank
Chris Unthank

On the plus side there are two less homeless people on the streets

Fred Beelman
Fred Beelman

On the side of the building at locked door .you make it sound like it was on the front entrance on the steps so everybody could see it .

Chris Settles
Chris Settles

When are we going to have a serious discussion about Knife Control? When is enough going to be enough?

Tray TooTrill Valentine
Tray TooTrill Valentine

That's their hangout. Need to give/sell Larry Rice some property over on Broadway & Mullanphy. Use those homeless ppl to do work around the city. Teach them basic but usable job skills. Win/win for the city, residents and the less fortunate.

SG Matthews
SG Matthews

And to think, Library officials were concerned about people eating on the freshly renovated steps

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@mrbigq The middle of the Mississippi is nice this time of year. Buy them a one way ticket from the middle of the Eads Bridge

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

This wasn't clever the first time it was posted, shut the fuck up

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