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Person of interest in shooting of MetroBus driver taken into custody, Major Case Squad says

After briefly following the car, officers were able to take the person of interest into custody on Jennings Station Road near Greyling Drive in Pine Lawn

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A person of interest was taken into custody Monday in connection with the shooting of a MetroBus driver last week.

Monday afternoon, investigators said they were looking for a maroon-colored PT Cruiser seen on security video near the scene of a shooting that left a MetroBus driver fighting for his life. Hours later, investigators said they spotted a car matching that description in north St. Louis.

After briefly following the car, officers were able to take a person of interest into custody on Jennings Station Road near Greyling Drive in Pine Lawn. 

No other details were released.

Investigators with the Major Case Squad were looking for the car after it was seen near the scene of the shooting that left 33-year-old Jonathan Cobb critically injured Friday. They also said it may have been involved in another shooting minutes earlier involving another MetroBus.

At 7:10 p.m. Friday, police received a report of shots fired at a MetroBus near Lucas and Hunt Road in north St. Louis County. When officers arrived, they found a public transit bus that had collided with a utility pole after the driver, Jonathan Cobb, was struck by gunfire and critically injured.

RELATED: Bus driver remains in critical condition after shooting

At the Monday press conference, the Major Case Squad announced they were investigating another shooting that happened minutes earlier and left another MetroBus damaged.

Investigators said the first shooting, which happened along North Hanley Road near Airport Road, left the bus damaged and one rider injured due to "flying debris."

Investigators said they were trying to track down a maroon-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser that was seen on video surveillance in the area of both shootings. Investigators said the car may have been involved in the shootings or may have information that would help in the investigation.

"We currently have nearly 20 investigators that have been working since Friday evening trying to solve this crime," Lieutenant Tim Burger said in the press conference, "and we've handled literally dozens and dozens of leads. But we just need the public's help a little bit more to get this crime solved."

Police surrounded a PT Cruiser in north St. Louis County Monday night at around 6:20, but they would not confirm if it was related to the MetroBus investigation. A large police presence closed a portion of Lucas and Hunt Road just south of Interstate 70, with police cars and tape surrounding the maroon car. It was about two miles from where police said they took the person of interest into custody, but it is unclear if the incidents are connected.

Keylla Johnson, the girlfriend of Jonathan Cobb, made a plea for information leading to an arrest. She said Cobb is the father of identical 1-year-old twin girls. She said family meant everything to him.

"They need their father, they want their father, they love their father," Johnson said while holding photos of the family. "This man, he had a passion for them and he would do anything for them. We need justice."

Other members of Cobb's family also made a tearful plea for more information that could lead to an arrest in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477. Tips can be made anonymously and a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Metro Transit CEO Taulby Roach said Metro has struggled to provide service as drivers have been "scared and intimidated" by the shooting.

RELATED: MetroBus routes experiencing delays due to driver shortage after Friday's shooting

Roach said they are moving forward with plans to increase security on Metro buses. That includes authorization to put more security officers on buses and hiring 10 new transit security specialists dedicated to the bus lines.

Roach said the operators need security support, but they also need support from the region.

"Please, I urge the public to support our frontline operators," Roach said. "These are the folks who get folks to the grocery stores, to the hospitals, to the fundamental economics of St. Louis. We need them, and our operators need your support at this moment."

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