August 14, 2006 -- Posted at 5:39 p.m. CDT
CAMPBELL, MO -- A Region 8 man shoots and kills his estranged girlfriend, then turns the gun on himself...all inside a store with customers present. It happened in Campbell, Missouri over the weekend.
22-year-old Billy Gene Meadows, Jr. went to the Dollar General store where 18-year-old Kasi LeaAnne Flowers was working. The couple's turbulent relationship reached a boiling point that ended in gunfire...leaving a community wondering why?
"It's like I grieve for her, but it's like I'm not used to her not being there," said Campbell resident Trista Beltz.
Flowers and Beltz has been best friends since the seventh grade...and Beltz and Meadows were related by marriage. Saturday's tragedy was a shock to her and the entire community of Campbell.
"My family is not very good either. We mourn for Kasi and for Billy but mostly my heart goes out to Kasi because I know how scared she was," said Beltz through tears.
The young couple had dated off and on for years.
"They fought sometimes, but I guess everyone fights...I don't really know how to describe it. I guess bad, because I wish she would have got out of it now," said Beltz.
Flowers had been an employee at the Dollar General Store for about three months and on Saturday; her estranged boyfriend Meadows entered the store carrying a loaded .22 riffle. He allegedly went directly to the store office where Flowers was working, shooting her and then turning the gun on himself. Both Meadows and Flowers were pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation is being conducted by the Campbell Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department. On Monday, the Dollar General Store remained closed. It is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday.
"I went up there and I didn't know what to think," said Beltz, "It was like it wasn't real, you know? You don't really know what to think, like that's going to happen, especially in Campbell."
Funeral arraignments have been made for both Flowers and Meadows.
Flowers' funeral service will be Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at the Landess Funeral Home Chapel in Malden and her burial will follow at the Memorial Park in Malden.