EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with a deadly shooting at a MetroLink stop in East St. Louis that happened on Monday.
Catrell L. Dent, 17, of East St. Louis is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department was called just before 11 p.m. Monday about an 18-year-old who was shot at the MetroLink stop at 5th and Missouri in East St. Louis. A witness told deputies the victim, later identified as Lundy S. Blue, ran across the parking lot toward Broadway Ave.
According to the sheriff’s department, Blue, of Alorton, and Dent were on the westbound train when they began to exit at 5th and Missouri and a shot was fired. Dent then fled the platform.
Officials said Blue was taken to St. Louis University Hospital. About an hour later, deputies were informed he had died.
Blue was not involved in gangs and had plans to go to college, according to his cousin. He had been out that night visiting friends.
"An 18-year-old African American man, was set to graduate high school in a couple of months. We are shopping for prom and trying to get ready for graduation but yet we have to deal with this tragedy," said LaDonna Nicholes, Blue's cousin. "
"A very loving young man. He was into no trouble at all. Everyone loved him."
A vigil was held for him on Tuesday night. Teachers, classmates and friends gathered to remember him.
Relatives said he just got fitted for his prom tuxedo on Saturday.
East St. Louis High School released a statement on Blue, saying:
"The East St. Louis Senior High School is grieving the loss of one of our students, twelfth grader Lundy Blue. Lundy was well-respected by other students and teachers. He took Honors level courses and enjoyed his audio-visual classes through the Career and Technical Education department. Lundy was also looking forward to attending college and was to participate in another college tour next week through our GEAR UP program.
Our crisis team is present at the high school to provide counseling and support to students and staff during this difficult time. We send our sincere condolences to the family as they cope with this tragic loss of a young life."
Following the shooting, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department activated the St. Louis Major Case Squad.
Dent is being held on a $1,000,000 bond in juvenile custody. Authorities say he will be moved to the St. Clair County Jail once he turns 18 if he does not post bond.
Deputies said they are unsure how, or if, Dent and Blue and knew one another prior to the incident. They each got on the train at different stops, according to the sheriff's department.
"He [the suspect] fled from the scene," St. Clair County Sheriff's Capt. Bruce Fleshren said. "I don't know at this point what caused this [the shooting] or why this occurred, so I'm thinking generally people are safe riding the train because this was not somebody who ran up to somebody randomly. They were talking to each other but we don't know what occurred before."
Capt. Fleshren said he does not believe the shooting was random.
“We’re trying to do a better job every single day at making everyone’s ride safe and secure,” said Taulby Roach, president and CEO of Bi-State Development.
Roach said people should feel safe while riding Metro because they are constantly working with law enforcement to ensure passenger safety.
“Even though there certainly was a tragic event last night, we’re trying to deploy resources to respond to what is happening on it on an everyday basis,” he said.
MetroLink used shuttles between the Stadium and Emerson Park stations while the shooting investigation was underway. Normal operations resumed between the stops early Tuesday morning.