One man is dead and another critically injured after police say a gun man opened fire near a downtown metro bus stop just as Friday night's Cardinal game was letting out.
“Watching someone's life be taken in such a violent manner I tried to close my eyes started having nightmares,” said Steve Deschler, who witnessed the shooting.
A witness tells us that a man got out of car in front of the stop, walked over to the benches with a gun, shot and one man dead and another as he ran away.
Police say they found a 31-year-old man dead and a 27-year-old-man in critical condition, both shot multiple times.
Seven bus routes pick up and drop off passengers to the exact place where the shooting happened. A MetroLink station joins the area through a walk way. Though the shooting did not take place on the MetroLink station, metro guards patrol the exact area where the shooting occured.
Deschler and others we spoke with claim the violence was bound to happen because the area is a haven for drug dealing
“I witness it every day every night when I come down here, the illegal drug activity like I told my boss it’s like an open air drug market and nothing ever gets done,” he said.
Harassed six times in the last seven days by drug dealers, Deshler says there are twenty or thirty dealers wrapped around the block on any given day. He faults a lack of police and ineffective metro guards who walk around the very bus stops when the two men were attacked.
Maria Hallas, Five On Your Side:
“How much police presence did you see before [the shooting]?”
“None. None. Just for five security guards that stand at the top of the steps having a good time with young individuals that are doing what they're doing,” Deshler said.
Five on your side asked St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to respond to Deschler's frustration.
“Certainly to witness that is very traumatic and for that, I really apologize and I'm sorry he had to have that experience because it will certainly stay with him, I know,” Krewson said. “But I also feel like that about everyone in our city who has to witness violence.”
Mayor Krewson says neighborhood safety, which includes this metro bus station is of "paramount importance" for her new administration.
We contacted St. Louis Metropolitan Police, Bi-state Development, and Metro Link about Deschler's concerns and similar concerns expressed by other commuters. They have not responded.