EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI)– Illinois State Police said they were frustrated by the lack of cooperation from witnesses to Sunday morning’s shooting in East St. Louis that left three young men dead. It was first thought that 2 others were wounded, police said late Monday afternoon they learned a third men was also wounded. The three men who were shot and survived were not seriously injured. All the men shot were between the ages of 18 and 21.
Killed outside Club VIP were 19-year-old Marcus Holmes of North St. Louis County, 21-year-old Henry “Shorty” Bird and 18-year-old Alonzo Phiffer of East St. Louis. Ray Coleman is Phiffer’s former basketball coach. He said, “He was making straight A’s. He was a kid who cared and was making good grade and he was a gifted athlete.”
Police said two groups got into a fight inside the non-alcoholic club and were kicked out. The fight began again on the club’s parking lot and someone pulled out a gun and began firing. Security cameras were being checked by detectives to determine if they caught the crime. Illinois State Police Captain Jim Morrisey said, “That’s what it appears to be it was just indiscriminate shooting in the crowd.”
Coleman mentored Alonzo and had high hopes for the East St. Louis High School junior, “He’s the last that I would expect to be in a situation like this.”
Police are frustrated by witnesses as they try to track down the people who may have been involved. Captain Morrisey said, “Some of these are not being very cooperative in providing information to us… You would hope if you were involved or you witnessed something if it was one of your friends and you would come forward to help police solve the case.”
Ray Coleman had more to say about Alonzo Phiffer, “Good kid, great kid, great kid, tragic loss. Any loss is tragic this kid had potential he could make his grades he’s a gifted athlete I took him up to Millikin University. I wanted them to recruit him over the summer.