ST. LOUIS — If ever a crime scene was the picture of senseless, it certainly could be the shooting at the Grand Metro stop near Saint Louis University last August.
"The night of was just impossible to describe," said Brad Lefebvre.
Police said his brother, Craig, was commuting home from work, minding his business at the Metro station when he was shot and killed by a bullet meant for someone else.
Brad said his brother didn't drive because he preferred the train and took it just about everywhere he went. Including his job in St. Louis County for the health department.
"He wasn't concerned with money. He was concerned with helping people," Brad said of his late brother. "I want justice served."
Like Craig, the new man in charge of Metro, Taulby Roach, takes the train to work every day, and has for years.
"How can we do a better job?" Roach said he asks himself whenever he thinks of Craig’s death. "I take that question seriously."
These days, there are more empty seats next to Roach on his commute. Ridership system wide is down over the past four years by about 20 percent.
"There's some things we can't control," Roach said about ridership factors like the price of gas. "However, we can control what the perception is or at least we can attempt to control that."
Right now, perception and reality don't seem to match.
Roach said crime stats have steadily improved on Metro over the past eight months. But, he acknowledged with high profile crimes like Craig's murder, many don't feel safe on the system.
"I would say 'yes' the perception is different than the reality but as far as an organization our goal should be that perception," said Roach, who has been on the job as president and CEO of Bi-State for about a month. That's the organization that runs Metro.
Roach said he's focused on three things: upgrading 25-year-old technology on platforms, like the surveillance cameras, redesigning stops so riders only have one way on to the train which would help security keep a better watch on what's going on and redeploying the police officers working the MetroLink trains from the St. Louis city, county and St. Clair County departments.
"Not only are we evaluating but we are implementing," he said. "I hope people are seeing a difference."
"I think of my brother every day," said Brad, who remembers his brother's love for learning.
"I was talking to somebody and he said he was teaching someone Japanese and he said, 'You don't know Japanese.' And (Craig) said, 'I'm teaching myself so I can teach this person.'"
Now he hope's Metro, and city and county leaders, will learn from his brother's death.
"I hope my brother doesn't die in vain."