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Police have charged Andrew Buckingham — age 31 — with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and armed criminal action for the shooting death of 30-year-old Sharita Ariel Brooks. On Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, officers found Brooks with a gunshot wound in her head.
Officers also found Brooke’s 8/10-month-old baby girl alive —in the vehicle. The vehicle was found in the 1600 Block of Claudine Drive — in Spanish Lake, Missouri. Residents in the area stated they were awakened by the sounds of police arriving.
A man who lives in the neighborhood indicated that violent crimes are highly unusual on Claudine Drive.
I just hear a siren this morning, about 7-7:30. There be a lot of car break-ins, that’s about it.
Many of the residents who spoke to journalists were very reluctant to have their identity shared. One woman announced that she does not feel safe in the neighborhood anymore. Further stating, “I want to move out of here. I don’t want to be around here anymore.”
According to police reports the infant child had been taken to the hospital for a routine examination. Police officers took Buckingham into custody in the afternoon hours on January 19. The call that officers received claimed the woman there was a “sudden death.”
The police have reported Brooks was pronounced dead at the scene. According to reports, Buckingham showed up at Brooks’ University City home on January 17. He asked her to bring him to his home. As Brooks was bringing him to Spanish Lake she called a friend announcing that she did not feel safe.
Police believe at some point — after her phone call — Buckingham shot Brooks multiple times in the head. The car remained running with her still behind the wheel.
One witness told police officers that they had seen someone walking away from the road shortly after Brooks the time was killed. Police were able to locate a piece of clothing with DNA from both Buckingham and Brooks in a sewer drain nearby.
Brooks’ relatives believe that the infant was left with its mother’s body for hours before being discovered. Buckingham is being held on a $1,000,000 bond. The investigation is being conducted by the St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Person’s unit is leading the homicide investigation.
Anyone with information about Brooks’ homicide should contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210. People who wish to remain anonymous — or possibly receive a reward — should call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS(8477).
Written by Sheena Robertson
5 on Your Side: Man charged in shooting death of woman found dead in car with infant in St. Louis County; by Dori Olmos and Jasmine Payoute (KSDK)
FOX: Woman’s body found with an infant in a Spanish Lake parked vehicle; by Roche Madden and Joe Millitzer
Featured Image Courtesy of mbernero’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Office of Public Affairs’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License