Missouri man kills mother of four children, then himself

ST. LOUIS | A woman who had sought court protection against the father of her four children has been shot and killed in front of the youngsters in a case that police are calling a murder-suicide.

Police said 37-year-old Rodney D. Morris-El Sr. shot and killed 26-year-old Melissa Amerson just after 8 a.m. Friday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Morris El then shot himself in the head.

The children ranged in age from 10 to 5. Officials said they weren't harmed.

St. Louis Circuit Court records show that Melissa Amerson obtained a temporary order of protection Aug. 29 to keep Morris-El from coming near her. The order was terminated after she failed to attend a hearing Thursday.

Amerson said in the court documents that Morris-El had a weapon and had threatened to kill her.