Man charged in killing of state investigator
By Christine Byers and Joel Currier
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.
Two men who killed former Pagedale police chief Tyrone L. Thompson in a holdup Saturday night had gone out looking for someone to rob after losing money in a dice game, according to charges filed today against Billy Cushshon-Bey,18, of the 12000 block of Criterion Avenue in north St. Louis County.
Cushshon-Bey is held in lieu of $1 million bond after being charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with two counts each of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and one count of robbery. The other robber, Jakeem Hicks, was killed in an exchange of shots with the victim, police said.
According to the charges, Cushshon-Bey and Hicks, also 18, lost money in a dice game at a home near the murder site, in Black Jack, and announced to others that they would go out and rob someone. Soon thereafter, shots were heard and Cushshon-Bey was seen getting into a car, carrying a handgun.
Officials said Cushshon-Bey was wounded in the exchange of shots with Thompson, who was a consumer fraud investigator for the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
Thompson was an innocent victim, police have said, who had been in his vehicle, stopped near his home to pick up a friend, when crime unfolded. Thompson was found dead in the street; Hicks was found dead in a driveway.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Police on Sunday were questioning a teenager in the shooting deaths of his friend and a state investigator who was the son of a former state legislator and had been a former municipal police chief.
Tyrone L. Thompson, 47, of Black Jack, a consumer fraud investigator with the state attorney general's office, was shot to death in a robbery attempt Saturday night in the 12300 block of Jerries Lane in Black Jack, police said.
Thompson was sitting in his sport utility vehicle near his home waiting to pick up a friend when two men, both 18, approached about 11 p.m. and tried to rob him at gunpoint, police said.
Thompson and the suspects exchanged several gunshots. Police said Thompson shot Jakeem Hicks and was himself fatally shot by one of the would-be robbers.
Police said someone who lived near the shooting scene tried to revive Thompson, who was pronounced dead at Christian Northeast Hospital.
Hicks, of the 1300 block of Petite Drive, died in the street.
The other 18-year-old was wounded in the exchange but his injury was not serious, police said. He was in police custody and was being questioned Sunday. His identity is being withheld pending the filing of charges.
Police would not say if both teens were armed or how many guns they recovered at the scene.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said the teenagers had had no previous contact with Thompson. Fitch called Thompson a "truly innocent victim" who was "trying to protect himself in his neighborhood."
Hicks' family declined to comment.
Thompson was a former police chief for Pagedale and a former University City police officer. He had served as consumer fraud investigator for the state attorney general's office for about a year. He grew up in University City and was the son of former state Rep. Betty Thompson, D-University City.
Detectives have no evidence that Thompson was targeted because of his job.
St. Louis County Police Detective John Wall, who worked with Thompson on the University City police force, said Thompson was "happy to go to work. Happy to be there. He was a great policeman, just an all-around great guy."
Thompson, who was unmarried, had a daughter, 18, and two sons, 21 and 16.
"He was just an excellent son and a beautiful father," said County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, a friend and spokeswoman for the Thompson family.
Betty Thompson was University City's first African-American councilwoman and served in that seat for 18 years. She was elected to the Missouri House in 1997 and served for eight years. She has been honored for her social activism.
Erby said Betty Thompson asked her to say that "the killing has to stop. We have to come together as a community and do something about this."
In a prepared statement Sunday, Attorney General Chris Koster said Thompson was a valued member of his staff who will be missed.
"I am broken-hearted for the Thompson family and have profound sympathy for their pain and tragic loss," Koster said. "But I am equally angered at the absolute senselessness of this murder and the life that has been stolen by two teenagers without care for the value of human life.
Funeral arrangements for Thompson were pending.