Michael Mayer

Authorities on Thursday charged a 63-year-old man in connection with a killing Wednesday afternoon in the Spanish Lake area of north St. Louis County. John Cowan is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. St. Louis County police found Michael Mayer, 51, shot dead inside a home in the 1200 block of Congress Avenue shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Congress is west of Larimore Road. Investigators said they believe Mayer and Cowan were arguing in the living room of the home when Cowan grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and followed Mayer into the kitchen. Cowan then shot Mayer once in the stomach, police said. Mayer died in the kitchen before police arrived. Police found the gun in the living room and arrested Cowan at the home Wednesday. Cowan is being held on $1 million cash-only bond. Police said both Cowan and Mayer lived in the same block where the shooting occurred.

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Aug. 24, 2022




51 years old




1200 block of Congress Avenue,
Unincorporated (Spanish Lake),
St. Louis County