ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis man has died after a shooting at a downtown MetroLink station.
Police, who identified the man as Mac Payne, said it appears the 57-year-old was the innocent victim of a random act of violence.
The shooting was reported around 11 p.m. Sunday at the MetroLink stop outside Busch Stadium off 8th & Clark.
Police said prior to the incident, there was a violent altercation on a westbound train between six passengers and a father and son.
The group, according to police, pistol-whipped the pair and tried to rob them of personal property.
Police said during the altercation, one shot was fired that struck the other victim in the head moments after he stepped off the same train.
The four male passengers and two female passengers fled the scene, according to police.
The father and son sustained injuries to their faces, but are expected to make a full recovery.
Police sought to ease safety and security concerns about the bi-state MetroLink system during a news conference Monday afternoon about the case.
Capt. Mary Warnecke explained that officers cannot be at every platform or on every train just as officers cannot be at every street corner all the time.
But she maintained the public rail system is safe.
“St. Louis City has eight officers and a sergeant. St. Louis County has 44 officers and a sergeant. So there’s a significant amount of resources dedicated to the MetroLink,” she Cpt. Warnecke said.
Those patrols are also supplemented by private security guards, according to MetroLink officials.
There was no form of law enforcement present at the time of the shooting, according to police.
Cpt. Warnecke said detectives were reviewing surveillance footage that they believed captured part of the incident.
Officers released a photo of a person they believed to be a person of interest, but now say they do not believe he is connected to the case.
Passengers, meantime, expressed concern about their safety on the train.
“To me it's dangerous. Sometimes I'm scared to ride the train all the way over here,” said Dawn Love of Illinois.
Wade Hampton said, “Sometimes they need to beef up security and make sure everybody has a paying ticket. And if they don’t, don’t allow them on the train.”
Police expected to step up their presence over the coming days with a big conference downtown this weekend and opening day for the Cardinals in less than two weeks.
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