“He’s going to kill me.” Those were the words S.H. told 9-1-1 dispatchers after neighbors told her a man was lurking around her home.
Minutes later, Rico Combs threw a brick through the window of S.H’s apartment and attacked the people inside.
Combs has now been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing of one man and assaulting other people.
On August 14, 2013, J.G. and D.D., childhood friends of S.H., were in S.H.’s apartment. Witnesses saw J.G. with his hands up, backing away from Combs, saying, “Man, I don’t know nothing.” Still, Combs shot J.G. in the chest and the back of the head, killing him.
Then, he went on the hunt for his next victim. Without saying a word, Combs also shot D.D. in the face.
S.H. was hiding in the closet with her three children, all between the ages of three and seven. Combs fired shots at her as she clung to her kids. He also struck her with the weapon and pressed the hot firearm to her forehead, leaving a bloody burn mark in the shape of the barrel.
Combs fled the scene of the crime but was arrested the next day.
In court, family members of J.G. expressed their grief at his senseless death. “It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that my brother was taken in such a violent way,” wrote the victim’s sister. “I am heartbroken by the loss of my baby brother.”
In February, a St. Louis jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, seven counts of armed criminal action, first-degree assault, first-degree domestic assault, first-degree burglary and three counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He was also found guilty of third-degree domestic assault and first-degree domestic assault from an earlier incident in which he slit S.H’s throat with a box cutter.
Friday, a judge sentenced Combs to life in prison without the possibility of parole.