Missouri men Terrell Cooks and Seneca Mahan charged with black market fireworks explosion that killed 4 people

Two Missouri men face murder charges after a home explosion near St. Louis on Friday killed four people – including three teenagers – who were assembling black market fireworks in a garage.

Terrell Cooks, 37, and Seneca Mahan, 43, are each charged with three counts of second-degree murder and several other counts in Friday’s explosion near Black Jack, about a 30-minute drive to the north of St. Louis. They were charged before a fourth victim died on Saturday.

St. Louis County prosecutors said Cooks and Mahan set off fireworks and instructed the youths on how to load the cartridges and attach a fuse for the lights. They would then sell the fireworks to others, even though they did not have a license to make or sell fireworks.

Investigators have been identified as Travell Eason, 16; Christopher Jones, 17; Damario Cooks, 18; and William Jones, 21.

Friday’s powerful blast shook other homes and blew out neighbors’ windows. Authorities said a 12-year-old child was also injured in the blast, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that police could not provide details Sunday about how many others were still alive. hospitalized.

Court documents say Cooks admitted he and Mahan made explosive devices designed to produce a loud bang and a bright flash. Investigators saw Cooks move boxes of chemicals used to make explosives to his vehicle after Friday’s explosion, and they found large amounts of “completed explosive weapons and components to make them” when they searched a house and other vehicles linked to Cooks.

The explosion was so powerful that it shook other homes and blew out neighbors’ windows.
Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Shipping via AP

Cooks and Martin are being held on $350,000 cash-only bail. It was not immediately clear whether they had retained attorneys able to speak on their behalf.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

New York Post

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