St. Louis Police Department
4:16 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

St. Louis Police Dept. activates Violent Offense Team after recent incidents

Intelligence gathered after last night’s fatal shooting in North St. Louis has led the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to believe the incident is tied to several other homicides from the last two weeks.

In hopes of supplementing intelligence efforts and arresting possible suspects, the department has activated the Violent Offense Team.

This “in-house” special-force-unit is made of officers from multiple police units and is called upon when serial crimes or crimes that are linked occur.

Erica S. Van Ross, director of public information at the Metropolitan Police Department, said the team won’t replace intelligence teams in place but will help expedite arrests.

The team met this morning to share information about potential suspects and case knowledge – some officers on the team were already working on the case.

Last night’s shooting began at 9:55 p.m. at North Euclid Avenue and Page Boulevard, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Police say Patrice Thimes, 39, was killed after being hit by a stray bullet last night while driving west on Page Boulevard. Thimes was the sister of St. Louis jazz singer Denise Thimes.