'I Know I Just Committed Two Murders,' Man Allegedly Tells Cops After Walking Into Police Station Wearing Bloody Clothes

Police believe the Thanskgiving night violence began when Torry Upchurch knocked on a 17-year-old Earle Key Jr.'s door and shot him in the face. Upchurch is also suspected gunning down girlfriend Shantae Hill-Cook a short time later.

By Jill Sederstrom
Digital Original
Neighbors Who Turned Deadly

A Missouri man is in custody after allegedly walking into a police station covered in blood on Thanksgiving night and admitting to killing two people.

Torry Upchurch, 27, is now facing two counts of first-degree murder after telling officers at the Jefferson City Police Department, “I know I just committed two murders,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by KRCG.

Authorities believe the violence began around 6 p.m. Thursday night when Upchurch went to an apartment where he knew 17-year-old Earle Key, Jr. was staying and knocked on the door. When Key opened the door, Upchurch shot him in the face with a 9mm handgun, killing him instantly, according to the probable cause statement.

The two men reportedly knew each other, although no further details about their relationship or the possible motive in the slaying has been provided.

After firing the fatal shot, witnesses reported seeing a man dressed in dark clothing running from the scene behind residences in the area, according to a statement from police. Authorities tried to find the man seen by witnesses, but were unable to locate him.

Torry Upchurch Pd

Just a few hours later around 8:45 p.m. police began receiving additional 911 calls about shots being fired in the 2300 block of Southridge Drive. When authorities arrived at the scene, they found 33-year-old Shantae Hill-Cook laying in the middle of the street with multiple gunshot wounds. Hill-Cook, who had been dating Upchurch for several months, was later pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel.

A witness at the scene told police that Upchurch had been upset with Hill-Cook before the shooting because she wanted to help the witness with her belongings and child, The Jefferson City News Tribune reports.

Upchurch had instructed her to “stay in the car” multiple times before allegedly pulling out the handgun and shooting her. He fled the scene in her car, leaving her bloody body behind in the street.

Witnesses at both crime scenes were able to identify Upchurch as a possible suspect and authorities began searching for him.

A short time later, authorities say Upchurch drove to the police station and turned himself in while still wearing his bloody clothes. He allegedly admitted the killings in the lobby of the police station and later implicated himself in both deaths during an initial interview with police, authorities said.

In addition to the two counts of first-degree murder, Upchurch has also been charged with armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the incidents.

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