(St. Louis Metropolitan Police)

Teenage suspect certified as adult in killing of retired St. Louis police officer

The 16-year-old allegedly shot and killed 67-year-old Sgt. Ralph Harper during a robbery last October

June 11, 2019 - 10:17 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The 16-year old accused of fatally shooting and robbing a retired St. Louis Police officer last October has been certified as an adult.

The Circuit Attorney is not allowing a bond for Justin Mathews, who allegedly shot and killed 67-year-old Sgt. Ralph Harper during a robbery outside his South City home near Tower Grove Park.

Mathews now faces Second degree murder, Armed Criminal Action and Robbery charges.

It was an emotional announcement for St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden on the morning of Oct. 29, telling media that Harper had died of his injuries at Barnes Jewish hospital.

He retired ahout a decade ago after 33 years on the force and had three brothers who also served on the St. Louis police force.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department received a special package from the New York Yankees about a week after Harper's death. The Yankees organization has kept a tradition of sending flowers to the families and colleagues of fallen officers for decades, at the request of former owner George Steinbrenner.

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