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Press Release

Man Shot While Robbing St. Louis Market Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey on Tuesday sentenced a man who was shot while robbing a St. Louis market to 15 years in prison.

John L. Smith, 43, of Florissant, pleaded guilty in November to a robbery charge and a charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He admitted entering the market in the 4500 block of Athlone Avenue on Aug. 19, 2020 and pulling a small black pistol before demanding, “Give me all you got!”

Smith threatened to kill one employee if he didn’t move faster to the register. Another employee retrieved a handgun and shot Smith. Smith fled the store with $30, but left his phone and his DNA behind. Police and the FBI found a black Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a court-authorized search of his home.

Judge Autrey ordered the 15-year sentence to run consecutive to any sentence he receives for violating his probation in a 2002 robbery case and a 2003 robbery case in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Christian Goeke prosecuted the case.

Updated February 21, 2023

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses