Dozens of drivers crawling along in Sunday traffic on a busy St. Louis-area highway watched in horror as a woman, bleeding from a gunshot wound, leapt from a car and across several lanes of traffic, banging on vehicle windows and begging for help before her boyfriend chased her down and shot her in the head, then killed himself, authorities said.
The violence unfolded Sunday afternoon in the most public of places, but authorities had little more to go on than terrified drivers' accounts in trying to figure out why it happened. It happened so quickly that most had no time to help.
Tommie Hill, who lived in East St. Louis, Ill., killed Ashley Oliver, from nearby Cahokia, Ill., within sight of Hill's 7-year-old daughter, who was sitting about 50 feet away in the car.
"I don't know what started this," Sgt. Dave Wasmuth said. "And we may never know."
Police started receiving 911 calls about 2 p.m., Wasmuth said. Some callers said there'd been what they thought might be a traffic accident, while others were clear about what they'd seen: a shooting, right there on Interstate 64 just west of the Mississippi River and St. Louis' Gateway Arch.