Suspect in custody for MetroLink shooting, Dotson says

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A 19-year-old man is in custody for an assault and fatal shooting that took place on a MetroLink train and platform, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Friday.

MetroLink leaders weighed in on the case. They say the robbery and deadly shooting raises some serious questions.

"We transport 16 million people a year all across the region. We are very proud of the safety record. But all that being said, at the end of the day, this is one incident too many. We want to get everybody home safe. That's our commitment to our employees to our customers," said John Nations Bi-State's president and CEO.

"We got a problem and it has to be resolved. Glad this is becoming such a major issue for the region. We are going to have to get everyone involved in solving it. I'm sorry that it took such a tragedy to bring this to everyone's attention," said Vincent Schoemehl.

Schoemehl is calling for dramatic increase in security forces on the trains and platforms.

The incident happened March 19 just after 10:50 p.m. at the MetroLink station on S. 8th Street next to Busch Stadium.

A group of four young men and two young women accosted a 51-year-old man and his 29-year-old son, asking for money. The 29-year-old victim gave the group $5, prompting the suspects to ask for more money. When the man and his son didn’t give the group more money, one of the suspects took out a handgun and began pistol-whipping the 29-year-old.

A struggle ensued and the gun went off, Freeman said. A stray bullet struck a 57-year-old bystander standing on the platform. The suspects all got off the train at that stop and fled.

The gunshot victim, identified as Mac Payne, was rushed to a local hospital where he later died.

On Wednesday, homicide detectives identified six persons of interest in connection with the case. It is unclear if the 19-year-old suspect is one of those individuals.

Friends and family of Mac Payne will gather near the Metrolink station near Busch Stadium Friday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of Payne.

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