Suspect in Catholic Supply store shooting appears in court

Suspect in Catholic Supply store shooting appears in court
Thomas Bruce is charged with murder, kidnapping, sodomy, armed criminal action and tampering with evidence. (St. Louis County Police/KTVI/CNN)

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — The man accused of killing a woman and sexually assaulting two others inside a suburban St. Louis religious supply store has made a brief court appearance on the same day the store reopened.

KMOX Radio reports that a judge on Wednesday scheduled a preliminary hearing for Jan. 23 for 53-year-old Thomas Bruce. He is charged with 17 felonies that include first-degree murder and multiple counts of sodomy for the Nov. 19 attack at the Catholic Supply store near Ballwin.

Prosecutors allege that Bruce tried to force the three women in the store to perform sexual acts on him and that he killed a married mother of three when she refused.

The store reopened Wednesday. The company’s president offered thanks for the “outpouring of prayers, love and support.”