JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The suspect in a pair of deadly shootings hours apart was charged with murder on Friday, a day after he walked into a Missouri police station covered in blood and allegedly told people in the lobby that “I know I committed two murders.”
Cole County prosecutor Locke Thompson charged 27-year-old Torry Andre Upchurch with two counts of first-degree murder, as well as armed criminal action, unlawful use of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm all related to the killings.
Earle Key Jr, 17, of Jefferson City, was killed in the first shooting, reported around 6 p.m. Witnesses said they saw a man running from the scene, but officers were unable to find him.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that Upchurch reportedly knocked on the front door of the apartment where Key, whom Upchurch is believed to have known, was staying, according to a probable cause statement from the Jefferson City Police Department. Upchurch allegedly shot Key in the face with a 9mm handgun when he opened the door, killing him instantly.
Police responded around 8:45 p.m. Thursday to another shooting a few miles away. They found 33-year-old Shantae Hill-Cook of Columbia dead in the street with multiple gunshot wounds and her car missing.
A witness told officers that Hill-Cook and Upchurch had been in a romantic relationship for the past few months, according to the probable cause statement. The witness also said Upchurch had been upset with Hill-Cook for wanting to assist the witness with her belongings and child.
According to the witness, Upchurch told Hill-Cook to “stay in the car” before he eventually pulled out a handgun and fired, striking Hill-Cook numerous times. Upchurch reportedly fled in in her car before officers arrived.