Slain mother of 3 recalled as 'somebody very special' while police search for her killer

A manhunt was still underway Wednesday for a suspect who fatally shot a mother of three and sexually assaulted at least one woman at a Catholic Supply store in High Ridge, Mo., on Monday afternoon, reports said.

Jamie Schmidt, 53, was shot in the head and later died at a local hospital, FOX 2 of St. Louis reported. The horrifying attack happened in mid-afternoon in a busy part of town.

On Tuesday night, Schmidt's family and friends gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Church in High Ridge to remember her. She was very active in the church, where several of her hand-painted murals were on display.

“The outside world broke our bubble and took somebody very special," Cathy Gansmann, who attended a Tuesday night Mass in memory of Schmidt, told the station.

“Obviously, you’re a troubled man who would do such an act,” Deacon Jim G’Sell said. "Turn yourself in.”

“Obviously, you’re a troubled man who would do such an act. Turn yourself in.”

— Deacon Jim G’Sell

Schmidt, of House Springs, was a customer at the shop, River Front Times reported. According to FOX 2, police were looking for a white male, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, who was wearing glasses, a blue jacket and a red-and-black plaid shirt.

Police were checking nearby businesses to collect video footage that may include images of the suspect, the station reported.

Video evidence "makes our job much easier to hold those people accountable for whatever crime they might have committed,” Officer Benjamin Granda, a St. Louis County Police spokesman, told FOX 2.

It was unclear if the Catholic store was targeted for a specific reason, police said. Information on the conditions of others who were in the store was not immediately available.

Schmidt's family released a statement that said, in part:

"Our family is heartbroken as we try to accept and understand this terrible tragedy. We ask for prayers for peace and that the killer is caught before he hurts anyone else."

"Our family is heartbroken as we try to accept and understand this terrible tragedy. We ask for prayers for peace and that the killer is caught before he hurts anyone else."

— Statement from family of slain woman

Schmidt married her high school sweetheart, Gregg Schmidt.

"Folks, I had my own Mother of Dragons but she was taken from us today. I still don't know how to feel yet," he said on Facebook, according to St. Louis' KSDK-TV. "She was my angel, my partner, my best friend and the love of my life."

A GoFundMe campaign to assist Schmidt's family had raised more than $10,000 as of Wednesday morning.