Stanton crime scene

Crime scene tape ropes off a property at 3300 Lollar Branch Rd., near Stanton, where a fatal shooting occurred Aug. 20. The Franklin County Sheriff's Department is investigating.

Two men are dead following a Friday morning shooting in rural southwestern Franklin County near Stanton, according to a press release from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. 

The deceased are described as a 23-year-old man from Gray Summit and a 24-year-old man from St. Clair. Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said they are working to positively identify the deceased so they can begin to contact next of kin. According to a press release, at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, the sheriff’s department received a call from a person within a residence in the 3300 block of Lollar Branch Road, which is on the north side of Interstate 44 between Stanton and St. Clair. The caller told dispatchers about a shooting that had occurred. 

When deputies arrived at the scene, which Pelton described as “a shop or shed with some living quarters,” they found the two men. The Gray Summit resident was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics and EMTs. The St. Clair man was transported to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Sullivan, where he was later pronounced dead. 

Pelton said the shooting was “not random” and that “the parties involved are all known to each other.” He said there is no information that suggests a threat to the community at large. 

As The Missourian went to press on Friday morning, investigators remained on the scene and continued to collect evidence. A person of interest, who is described as a witness by the sheriff’s department, initially fled the scene due to outstanding warrants but was later located by deputies. 

“We are still trying to wrap our arms around this, but we will be releasing more (information) as it develops,” Pelton said. 

This is a developing story, and updates will be posted online at emissourian.com.