Crime

Cahokia shooting victim identified. Police say killing ‘appears to be personal’

Cahokia police captain discusses April 16 homicide

Captain Dennis Plew, of the Cahokia Police Department, discusses a homicide that occurred the morning of April 16, 2019.
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Captain Dennis Plew, of the Cahokia Police Department, discusses a homicide that occurred the morning of April 16, 2019.

A man was taken into the custody of Cahokia Police for questioning in an early morning fatal shooting.

Cortez McCray, 24, was shot in the driveway of his residence at 736 St. Nicholas Drive and pronounced dead at the scene by St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye at 7:38 a.m. An autopsy is pending.

Cahokia Police Chief Dave Landmann said police were called to at 6:46 a.m. “It appears to be personal,” Landmann said, though he acknowledged police were just beginning the investigation.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified said she was walking to her kitchen when she heard a succession of six to eight shots fired.

One man was taken from the scene in handcuffs. Landmann said the man taken to the police station to be questioned, but stopped short of calling the man the shooter.

Several Cahokia police were at the scene. The body was still at the scene as of about 8:30 a.m., laying on the ground on the west side of the house. Authorities removed two children from the home.

Neighborhood children passed by the scene on foot as they made their way to school.

A hearse has arrived at the scene of a Cahokia homicide on Tuesday, April 16.

As crime scene investigators worked to process the scene, family members of the victim arrived and began a shouted verbal exchange with another group at the opposite end of the street. Police backup arrived to prevent the exchange from escalating.

Deputy coroner Danny Haskenhoff went to his car to fetch a bullet-proof vest, which he put on as he walked back to the house.

McCray’s mother, Kutanna Moore, said she was with her son at her East St. Louis home until 2 a.m. Tuesday. McCray was the oldest of her seven children.

“I’m just numb, very shook up,” she said. “My son was not a bad boy. He didn’t have an outstanding police record. He was a real mild-mannered person, a lot of people liked him. He was very respectful. Some people were even jealous of him because he had a lot of pride and clout. He was very friendly.”

Cahokia police were on scene at the site of a homicide Tuesday, April 16.

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