ST. LOUIS — Blood droplets found inside a Florissant man’s towed car has led to charges in an August homicide in St. Louis, authorities say.

Michael Penton, 43, of the 1600 block of St. Anthony Lane, was charged Monday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the Aug. 31 fatal shooting of Tommy Parnell in the city’s Old North neighborhood.

Parnell, 47, was shot multiple times about 6:30 p.m. outside an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Madison Street, police said. After being shot, Parnell was “pistol-whipped” with a gun, then found dead near the sidewalk.

On Sept. 18, charges say, police stopped Penton’s 2008 Ford Focus. It is unclear why, but police towed Penton’s car to a laboratory and analyzed blood droplets found inside the car. 

The blood belonged to Parnell, charges say. Police interviewed Penton, who admitted being in the 1300 block of Madison Street at the time of Parnell’s death but denied involvement the killing. Police said Penton could not explain why Parnell’s blood was found in his car.