Four shot, one fatally, in downtown St. Louis
Semi automatic handgun that has just been fired (Shutterstock)

A shooting at a downtown St. Louis convenience store on Wednesday left one person dead and three others badly wounded, police said.

Police said no suspects were in custody some five hours after the shooting, which was reported shortly after 5:30 p.m. local time.

A St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman, Schron Jackson, said she was unable to provide any details about the victims, any assailants or circumstances of the shooting.

She said one victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and the three others were transported to a hospital, where they were all listed in critical condition.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the shooting occurred at a convenience store but had few other details. Jackson said one of the victims was discovered near a store located at an intersection a block away from the shooting scene.

There was no indication that the incident was related to recent protests in the St. Louis area and elsewhere over the use of deadly force by police.

The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson erupted in demonstrations after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, 18, in August. A new wave of unrest flared when a grand jury decided last month to spare the officer from prosecution.

A New York grand jury sparked renewed demonstrations across the country when it decided earlier this month not to indict a white police officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, 43, an unarmed 43-year-old black man stopped by police for illegally peddling cigarettes on the street.

Violence flared again early Wednesday after a young black said by police to have brandished a gun was shot to death by a white policeman in Berkeley, another St. Louis suburb.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)