EAST ST. LOUIS — A second man sought by police since a man was killed on a parking lot near a local nightclub a few weeks ago was spotted by police early Friday afternoon driving a maroon Mercury Mystique in the area of Ninth Street and Lynch Avenue.
When police attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle, the suspect fled, East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore said.
Police said they thought they spotted the suspect, Torcus Boone, driving the vehicle.
The vehicle sped north on Ninth Street from Lynch Avenue at a high rate of speed. Two East St. Louis police officers pursued the vehicle and called for backup, which brought a large police presence, including officers from Illinois State Police, Washington Park Police, the U.S. Marshals Service and the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department.
The suspect bailed out in the 1700 block of North 38th Street. Police saw him pull a blue shirt off and toss it. He was a wearing a black shirt underneath, police said.
He ran west and a state police officer spotted him in the 1700 block of North 36th Street and that's where they lost sight of him, police said.
The pursuit lasted between 30-40 minutes. Wyvetter Younge Ninth Grade center was placed on lockdown to protect the students from harm. No one was hurt.
A woman who was in the car was taken into custody for questioning.
A train was on the track at 20th Street, slowing police pursuit.
Three houses were searched between North 36th Street and North 37th Street. But, the police never located the suspect.
The homicide occurred on a parking lot near Denese's Lounge about three weeks ago. One man is already in custody in connection with that shooting. He was identified as Damien Floore.
A spokeswoman for East St. Louis District 189 gave this account of the school lockdown:
"A Washington Park Police Officer notified the school that there was a dangerous suspect in the area and advised a lockdown. The school was locked down for approximately an hour and 10 minutes. A Washington Park police officer notified administration that it was safe to resume normal activity. During that hour and 10 minutes students and staff remained safe inside of the school. Administrators and security guards were on alert and monitoring entrances," said Beth Shepperd, assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Community Relations.
"The district used our telephone notification system to let parents of high school students, including ninth graders at Wyvetter Younge Ninth Grade Center know what had happened and why the school was on lock down," Shepperd said.
"Safety of our students is top priority. And we appreciate local law enforcement agencies in supporting us in keeping our students safe," Shepperd said.