Suspect charged after man killed inside downtown St. Louis transit center
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A suspect is in custody after a 17-year-old was shot and killed inside a downtown St. Louis transportation station Monday.
The shooting happened around 3:15 p.m. with officers responding in minutes to the center on South 15th Street.
“All you heard was ‘pow’ and everybody was running,” Tisa Pembelton said.
Pembelton was waiting on her train at the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center, planning to head to Springfield for the week.
“My heart was pounding. I’m terrified. I’m hurt for him. That’s not okay. I’m scared cause it could have been worse, what if it was all of us,” Pembelton added.
Pembelton said she saw the whole thing unfold.
“I saw him come in, and I should’ve said something. Something was off about that, and I feel so bad about it. It’s 100 degrees out here and he had a ski mask on with gloves on,” Pembelton explained.
She and about two dozen other witnesses were forced to wait inside the center, while questioned by police next to the dead body. Police said they believed the 17-year-old Dimari Chapple was shot in the head.
“It doesn’t appear that ‘hey’ this was just someone passing by,” Maj. Ryan Cousins said.
Cousins, with St. Louis Metropolitan Police, said the suspect, at the time believed to be a teenager, was apprehended at the MetroLink later that day. A day after the shooting, he was identified as 21-year-old Montrel Alexander.
“There’s really no age limit. Everyone pretty much is carrying right now,” Cousins said.
Alexander has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Teens armed with guns is a trend that’s surrounded downtown’s violence for months now. News 4 has tracked several incidents involving shootings, gun violence and teenagers.
“We’re doing the best we can, but for right now, it’s very challenging because as opposed to where we had a law we could stop someone, and if they had an illegal weapon, we could take them or take them into custody. Right now, we can’t do anything,” Cousins explained.
Both police and residents said something needs to change and this violence can’t be normalized.
“Y’all basically teaching these kids this is the life, and that’s okay, and this is a normal life, and it’s not. They’re not gonna know their ABCs, they’re gonna know ‘run’,” Pembelton said.
For now, police are still investigating this incident.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Homicide Division directly at 314-444-5371, or anyone with a tip who wants to remain anonymous and is interested in a reward can contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).
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