OLD STEEL: 73-Year-Old Outdraws, Kills Teen Thugs In St. Louis

I think I’ve mentioned before that many of the most dangerous people I know are grandparents, tempered by decades of military and or law enforcement service, and honed to a razor’s edge by a lifetime of fighting. They don’t necessarily look fast, but they have eliminated all wasted motion and hesitation.


I get the strong impression that the St. Louis senior targeted by a pair of teenaged thugs from Florissant and Ferguson was forged in that same fire.

Police have identified two men who were fatally shot by a homeowner they were allegedly attempting to rob Tuesday afternoon.

Jonathan Warren, 18, of Florissant, and Lonnie Middlebrook, 20, of Ferguson, were shot and killed by a homeowner in the 4100 block of Taft, which is a few blocks from the old Bevo Mill Restaurant.

Police said Warren and Middlebrook entered the homeowner’s detached garage and attempted to rob him just before 4 p.m.

One of the suspects held a gun to the homeowner’s head and demanded that he back up, police said. The 73-year-old then grabbed his own gun and, fearing for his safety, fired it at the suspects, according to officials.

Police said the homeowner fired in an act of self-defense, killing both suspects.

The suspects’ guns and the homeowner’s gun were found at the scene. According to police, the gun recovered from Warren was reported stolen on Oct. 30 by the Florissant Police Department.


It takes a hard man to look down the barrel of two guns and decide, “You know what? I’ve got you,” but that’s apparently what happened. The 73-year-old drew his gun and dispatched the teens with five shots or less, according to people in the area who heard the shots.

Accounts suggest that the criminals took solid hits and didn’t even get out of the garage, and it is unclear if the criminals even managed to get a shot off.

Our gray-haired warrior emerged from the encounter without a scratch, and is unlikely to face charges in what authorities seem to regard as a clearcut case of self-defense.


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