Metro-East News

Gunfire in metro-east leaves MetroLink train bullet-riddled

MetroLink photo

The operator of a MetroLink train thought he heard rocks hitting the train as it traveled through the Illinois route Tuesday night, but he realized it was gunfire when he saw windows shatter, according to police.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department deputies who were working the MetroLink detail were called to the MetroLink station in Fairview Heights on Tuesday evening when the train was hit by several bullets.

Sheriff’s Capt. Bruce Fleshren said a train was found with eight bullet holes in the windows and metal siding of the train around 11:41 p.m.

The 35-year-old man driving the train was not injured, nor were any of the roughly 20 passengers on the train.

The driver told deputies he heard the shots but thought the sound was rocks hitting the train — until he saw the glass breaking on the windows.

No one witnessed where the shots came from — but they all also heard six to 10 loud pops east of the Washington Park Station, the release stated.

Metro issued a statement Wednesday: “Unfortunately, Metro is not immune to the crime occurring in the communities we operate in. Targeting trains and other vehicles can have serious consequences, potentially injuring innocent people. We are thankful no MetroLink passengers were injured in this incident.”

Unfortunately, Metro is not immune to the crime occurring in the communities we operate in.

Metro statement

Detectives were continuing an investigation Wednesday, and they planned to review surveillance video.

Sheriff Richard Watson and Metro St. Louis Chairman John Nation are offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the person responsible for the damage.

“This is a matter that is being taken very seriously by both Metro and the sheriff’s department. We want to locate and arrest the person or persons responsible for this as soon as possible. This was a very dangerous situation that cannot and should not be tolerated by anyone,” Watson said in a statement.

Anyone with information can contact the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department by calling the Crime Stoppers tipline at 866-371-8477 or the sheriff’s department at 618-825-5712.