Metro-East News

East St. Louis school briefly locked down after man is shot nearby

Police responded to a shooting in the 1400 block of Gross Avenue where a a 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen. Because the shooting happened in the vicinity of Gordon Bush Elementary, the district placed the elementary school on lock down for a short period of time.

The responding officer found the victim lying on his back in the vacant yard at 1428 Gross Ave. bleeding from the abdomen, unresponsive, but breathing. The victim was being held by his girlfriend, police said.

The unidentified girlfriend told police that she and the victim were walking north in the 1300 block of North 15th Street when a black, two-door vehicle came toward them at a high rate of speed.

She told the responding officer that “two gunshots were fired from the vehicle striking the victim and continuing north on 15th Street.

“She said she ran and the victim collapsed in the yard,” East St. Louis police detective Carlos Coleman said.

The girlfriend also told police that she and the victim had just left a nearby liquor store on Lynch Avenue and the suspect vehicle was there when they left the store. She told police she didn’t know who shot her boyfriend and it must have been a case of mistaken identity, Coleman said.

Coleman said the victim was rushed to a St. Louis hospital. He said detectives have not been able to interview him yet.

He is in stable, but critical condition.

Coleman said it appears that the information that was given to the responding officer was not correct information. “The victim was not able to give any information. The information given to police came from an alleged witness. We are currently investigating the incident.”

District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver released a statement saying, “It is unfortunate that a shooting happened in close proximity of Gordon Bush School. Law enforcement officials responded to the incident. The building was placed on lock down as a precautionary measure. Police investigators did not indicate at any time that the students and staff were in danger. The safety of the students and staff is always our priority.”