Former Cape Girardeau pastor indicted in religious supply store attack

Thomas Bruce

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment against a man suspected of killing a woman and sexually assaulting two others inside a suburban St. Louis religious supply store.

The indictment filed Wednesday mirrors charges filed in November against 53-year-old Thomas Bruce of Imperial, Missouri. He is accused of first degree murder, kidnapping, sodomy and other charges. He is jailed without bond.

Bruce used to work as a pastor in Cape Girardeau. He was reportedly the pastor at Calvary Chapel of Cape Girardeau from about 2003 into 2007.

A spokeswoman for prosecutor Wesley Bell said Monday that the indictment eliminates the need to prove the worthiness of the case at a preliminary hearing.

The attack occurred Nov. 19 at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin. Prosecutors say Bruce fatally shot Jamie Schmidt after she refused his sexual demands.

Bruce also has been charged with sexually assaulting another woman two months earlier.

Store slaying suspect had worked as pastor in Cape Girardeau
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