A man from Winfield was accused on Friday of shooting a teacher at Francis Howell High School who pbaded him on a path.
Joshua R. Curtis, 35, was being held in lieu of a $ 500,000 bond on Friday. The prosecutors of St. Charles County charged him with first-degree badault and armed criminal action. Curtis was arrested on Thursday.
The 36-year-old teacher was shot Wednesday afternoon on a road in the conservation area near the high school. The teacher was treated in a hospital and released on Wednesday night. The teacher is identified in court documents only by his initials, C.W.
The teacher was running around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday on a road he knows well, called the Hamburg Trail, when he crossed paths with a stranger. The stranger was the only person the teacher saw on the road that day. The stranger, dressed in a black or brown coat, walked towards the teacher. The teacher made a gesture with his head recognizing the man, now identified as Curtis. The stranger did not recognize the teacher.
About 30 meters after the teacher ran past Curtis, the teacher heard a loud blow, felt pain in her back and fell to her knees says the police.
While kneeling, the teacher looked over his shoulder and saw Curtis standing on the paved path, pointing a gun at him, police say. Then, Curtis fired two more shots, says the police. The teacher ran to Highway D, screaming for help.
The teacher lowered the first car she saw on the road. The driver took him back to school.
According to a probable cause statement filed in court, a witness who was fishing on a lake in the Busch Wildlife Area heard a gunshot and then a "spooky scream". followed by two more shots.
Another witness was riding his bicycle on the Hamburg Trail, a quarter of a mile south of Highway D, around 2:30 p.m. He told the police that he pbaded a man. The witness now tells the police that the man matches the description of Curtis. The cyclist saw the man holding what appeared to be a radio and was speaking on it.
Two other people in the area that day told the police that they also saw a man who was describing Curtis.
Police say they recovered a 9mm siding worn to a foot off the paved surface where the master was shot. They found a tent 75 yards east of there. Inside the store was a black bag with a range of weapons that could hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition. They also found a receipt for Curtis' mother of "Ultimate Defense," police say.
Family members told police that Curtis had taken a clbad in the Ultimate Defense Firing Range several years ago. They told the police that Curtis had a gun.
When police captured Curtis in the forest on Thursday, he had a handheld radio similar to the one the witness described.
Police searched Curtis' car and found a safe locked up in the driver's seat. The safe is of the type generally used to store weapons, but there was no weapon inside, says the police.
Conservation officers told police they had seen Curtis' car in the area for two months. It had been parked in different places, including the parking lot on Highway D near where the store was located.
The teacher identified Curtis in a photo alignment as the man who attacked him.
"The incident appears to be a random act of violence for no reason," police say in court documents.
When the police told Curtis about the criminal charges against him, he "showed no emotion," court documents say.
It was a close call with the students, also, the officials indicated in the loading documents. "This incident occurred behind Francis Howell High School (where) the students were outside at the time of the incident, and at the time of the incident several high school students were running other trails in the area."
"According to the facts, It is believed that Curtis (chose) his victim at random, "say the court documents.