ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- A former SLU volleyball player was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in front of an apartment building at Maryland and Taylor where she once lived. Police believe the incident may have been part of an armed robbery. They do not believe the suspect and the victim knew each other.
St. Louis City police identified her as Megan Boken, 23, who currently lives in the Chicago area. They are looking for a suspect witnesses describe as a black man in his twenties 5'8"-5'10" tall with short hair. He was wearing grey charcoal shirt, khaki pants, and white tennis shoes.
Police believe the suspect opened the victim's car door before firing shots from a handgun. She was struck in the neck and later died at an area hospital.
Boken was in town to participate in an alumnae volleyball match against current players.
Though murder victim, Megan Boken, graduated from Saint Louis University in May of 2011 and moved back to the Chicago area, people at SLU said it was as if she`d never left.
Boken was looking to move back to St. Louis: a Billiken, through and through.
Her pictures do tell part of the story - but not all.
Boken was a great volleyball player - who came to SLU after starring at Wheaton-St. Francis High School, near Chicago.
"She'll be remembered as an unbelievable teammate," said SLU Athletic Director, Chris May. "She played on championship teams but she was that teammate who kept people together; that vivacious laugh. She was that person who could keep everybody together."
She was second team all-conference at SLU ranking among the top players in school history; making two NCAA championship appearances. She made the A-10 Commissioner`s Honor Roll for academic excellence
"She's everything you want in a student athlete; wonderful student, a great athlete and an even better person," May said.
Those who knew Boken said none of that was embellished. She was top of the list beyond the volleyball court. She was a top daughter, a top friend, a top student. She was a Billiken.
"No question. She came here and totally embraced the Billiken spirit and the university," May said.
Friends said she was in town for job interviews, looking to move back to St. Louis. She was also here to play in the alumni - versus - varsity volleyball game Saturday afternoon.
The shooting occurred about 90 minutes before that game was scheduled to start. People at the game wondered where she was.
"The game unfolded and (we) didn`t know until the end," May said. "It's not surprising that she was trying to come back to her community to get a job to come back to St. Louis because she was connected to it...it's hard. It`s hard for everybody involved."
But everybody involved knows Megan Boken was about keeping the team together. Her death hasn't changed that.
May said the SLU women's volleyball team begins its season Friday at Nebraska. He also said the athletic department staff would be working on a way to honor Boken at the appropriate time.
Investigators recovered casings from a gun at the scene. On Saturday, the canvassed the neighborhood looking for more witnesses and surveillance video that might help them trace the victim and the suspect's movements.
Anyone who was in the neighborhood, even several blocks away, is urged to contact the police Homicide Division at 314-444-5371 or the Crimestoppers Tip Line at 314-866-371-8477.
"If they are not sure whether the information is important or not, give us a call and we'll sort through it and figure out, but don't keep that to yourself," said Sgt. Roger Engelhardt.
Engelhardt said such crime in that part of the Central West End was "highly unusual."
Anyone with a private or commercial security camera in the vicinity of Maryland and Taylor is asked to contact police.
Mayor Slay also released a statement Sunday night live on KTVI FOX 2.