Two Men Charged in Fatal Fireworks Explosion That Killed Four

BLACK JACK MO. — Two men were charged with murder in a house explosion near St. Louis that authorities say killed four people who were assembling fireworks in a garage.

St. Louis County prosecutor say Terrell Cooks (37) and Seneca Mahan (43) made fireworks. The prosecutors also instructed younger people about how to load and attach the fuse. These two would then be able to sell fireworks to others. Mahan, Cooks and Mahan did not possess a permit to manufacture or sell fireworks.

Cooks and Mahan are each with three counts of second-degree murder and several other charges in Friday’s explosion near the town of Black Jack. Before a fourth victim was killed Saturday, they were both charged.

The victims in the powerful blast that shook other homes and blew out neighbors’ windows were identified as Travell Eason, 16; Christopher Jones, 17; Damario Cooks, 18; and William Jones, 21. Two other victims remain in critical condition.

Cooks and Martin remain in custody on $350,000 cash bail. Online court records don’t list the cases yet, so it’s not clear if the men have attorneys who could comment on the charges.

Cooks, Mahan and other defendants made explosives that could emit a loud bang as well as a bright flash according to court records. Investigators saw Cooks moving boxes of chemicals used to make explosives to his vehicle after Friday’s explosion, and they found large quantities of “completed explosive weapons and components to manufacture them” when they searched a home and other vehicles connected to Cooks.

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