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St. Louis gunman kills three, self

ST. LOUIS -- An argument inside a St. Louis home health care business escalated into gun violence Thursday when a man shot three other people before turning the gun on himself, police said.

The shooting occurred at AK Home Health Care LLC, one of several businesses inside the Cherokee Place Business Incubator south of downtown St. Louis. The shooter gunned down another man and two women before turning his semiautomatic handgun on himself, police Capt. Michael Sack said.

Authorities said the shooter either owned or was a co-owner of the business and his three victims were employees. The victims' names have not been released. Sack said they appeared to be in their early 40s to mid-50s in age.

"We don't know if this was a thing that carried over into today or was initiated today," Sack said.

A woman wearing African attire showed up about two hours after the shooting and began sobbing loudly when she saw the police scene. She was comforted by onlookers and police. A neighborhood woman translated the woman's outbursts for reporters, saying the woman was worried that a relative was inside the building.

Abdi Salam Elmi, an immigrant from Somalia who drives a cab in St. Louis, said he was close to all four of the dead in yesterday's shooting. "They always smile for me. This is my worst day in my life," he said.

St. Louis has long struggled with urban violence, but the last week has seen a troublesome uptick in bloodshed. Police scrambled late Monday and early Tuesday to respond to five different shootings on the city's north side that left 15 people wounded.

Meant to be a nurturer of startup businesses, the Cherokee Place Business Incubator dates back at least a decade in a once-thriving business section about five minutes south of downtown.

Big retailers later shifted to the suburbs. But that part of town, which has a strong Latino flair, has regained solid footing.

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