Jamell Bridges’ mother and girlfriend said they couldn’t fathom why someone would shoot to death the 24-year-old East St. Louis man.
He was just trying to get himself together and this happens.
Samantha Bridges said of her slain son, Jamell Bridges
Samantha Bridges of East St. Louis said her son had once been “on the wrong path” but earlier this year he began a steady job in a warehouse in the Gateway Commerce Center.
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“He was just trying to get himself together and this happens,” Samantha Bridges said Saturday.
Herkeisha Lester, 23, said Jamell Bridges was her boyfriend for the most of the past eight years.
“I just don’t understand this,” Lester said.
I just don’t understand this.
Herkeisha Lester said of her slain boyfriend, Jamell Bridges
Lester said he was very caring toward her 4-year-old daughter.
“He was all for her,” Lester said. “He was a good dude, you know. He loved everybody.”
Samantha Bridges and Lester both said Jamell Bridges, who was known as “Mell,” had a great sense of humor.
“He was funny. He made everybody laugh,” Lester said.
Johnny Barnes, who graduated with Bridges from the Emerson Park Development Corp. program in East St. Louis, said he could not believe his friend’s life had ended.
“I want the community to know him as a good guy,” Barnes said. “It hurts. It’s messing with me a lot.”
St. Clair County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Parkfield Terrace area about 10:30 a.m. Friday. When they arrived they found Bridges lying in the roadway, unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of the Major Case Squad. Cahokia Police Capt. Dennis Plew, who is serving as commander of the Major Case Squad, said 20 investigators have been working on the case.
Plew said detectives are scouring the area where Bridges’ body was found and talking to his friends and acquaintances.
An autopsy was conducted Saturday morning. Plew said Bridges had died shortly before he was found by a passer-by and investigators are still trying to determine whether Bridges was shot at the place where his body was found or somewhere else.
Bridges has been arrested in St. Clair County on charges of mob action, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and residential burglary, according to court records. He went to prison in August 2015 and was released on parole about eight months later, in April.
Detectives asked that anyone with information about Bridges’ death to call the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department at 618‐825‐2051 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477).