Homeless Man Shot and Killed Execution-Style in St. Louis

Homeless Man Shot and Killed Execution-Style in St. Louis


Left: Screenshot of bystander video showing a suspect shooting and killing homeless man in St. Louis. Right: Suspect Deshawn Thomas (via St. Louis Police Department) 

A man was caught on film walking up to a homeless man sitting on a roadside curb in St. Louis and shooting him dead execution-style.

The video shows the suspect standing behind the homeless man, who’s looking the other way, and loading his handgun. The suspect then quickly steps forward and points the firearm at the back of the homeless man’s head. The video turns away just as a shot rings out. 

“Oh my god, he just fucking killed him,” the person filming exclaims. 

Deshawn Thomas, 23, was arrested several hours later as he tried to enter a library. He’s now facing charges of first-degree murder. Police said that the two men had a verbal altercation at a gas station earlier in the day. 

Police identified the victim as David Saldana, a man in his 40s, and told KMOV that they believe him to be homeless. Police did not say if the two men knew each other before the altercation and murder. 

Police alleged that Thomas ran from the scene, and when he was arrested later in the day, police found a gun and bullet casings on him.

The 45-second clip was shared on social media by witnesses where it was then amplified by large accounts like the Libs of TikTok. While some of the videos, including the original, have been taken down many still remain up and easy to find. The video of the man’s death has been viewed millions of times now, with the Libs of TikTok tweet alone being viewed over 16 million times. 

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.