On Nov. 30, 2023, during the mid-day hours, Audrain County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a location along Audrain Road 556 in rural Vandalia on a report of shooting.
They arrived to find a man—later identified as 24-year-old Matthew Steward—deceased along the road. Stewart had been shot multiple times.
The investigation led to two suspects, both of whom are now in custody.
At about 4 p.m., a suspect, who is a juvenile, was arrested. The juvenile was later turned over the Audrain County Juvenile Office for detention and remains detained for first degree murder and armed criminal action, pending a mandatory hearing for adult certification.
At about 11 p.m., a second suspect, Chrstopher Brickey, 18, of Laddonia was arrested, and has been formally charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action. He remains in the Audrain County Jail with no bond set, as captioned in Cause 23AU-CR00791.
Information obtained by the Sheriff’s Office indicates that robbery for the victim’s firearm, along with an alleged previous altercation between the victim and a family member of one of the suspects was the motive for the shooting.
On Dec. 1, 2023, at about noon, a search warrant was executed at a suspect’s residence in Paris, Monroe County, Mo. During the search, deputies located the firearms believed to be used in the shooting, along with a firearm that was taken from the victim by the suspects during the incident.
Sheriff Matt Oller sadi, “I want to thank Monroe County Sheriff Joe Colston and his staff, Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Nicole Volkert, troopers of Troop F and Troop B of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger, the 12th Circuit Juvenile Office, and most of all, my staff for their hard work during this investigation.”