Webster University alumna Rain Stippec was severely injured in a shooting in Soulard Feb. 6 while sitting in a car with a St. Louis fire captain. Both were shot multiple times.
Stippec, a graduate of Webster’s dance department, was shot multiple times in the back and is listed as being in critical condition. The other victim, a male St. Louis fire captain, was shot in the hand, shoulder, knee and back and is listed as in serious condition.
Police said they are searching for one suspect, who walked up to the car and began shooting without warning. The incident occurred around 12:40 a.m.
Stippec’s sister, Katie Stippec, has started a GoFundMe for her sister’s medical expenses. The fund has so far raised around $14,000 of its $50,000 goal.
“We’re still in a state of complete shock and confusion and it’s looking like Rain is the strongest one of us all. Fortunately, she’s in semi-stable condition but she’s not out of the woods yet and she has a long road ahead of her — but we know you’ll all be traveling with her,” Katie wrote on the fundraising page.
Rain works as a ballet instructor at the Movement Arts Center. On their website, she lists Webster professor Alicia Graf-Mack as her “dance hero.”
“I had the pleasure and honor of being mentored by this amazing woman while in college at Webster University and in the time following,” Rain wrote.
“Aside from her outstanding technical ability and all of the things I learned from her classes, her personal experiences and life accomplishments can be encouragement and motivation for anyone to follow their dreams.”
Webster’s Department of Dance Alumni website notes that Stippec performed professionally in China and worked as a department assistant at Webster. According to Webster’s department of public relations, Stippec worked at Webster from January 2014 through December 2016, and as an office assistant in the dance department while she was a student. She graduated in 2014.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that violent crimes in Soulard have increased nearly 20 percent over the last year. There are currently no suspects for the shooting.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Webster declined to comment on whether Stippec was a current employee. It should have stated that the dance department declined to comment; the story has been updated with further information from the university.