Murdered MetroBus operator described as hard-working family man

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ST. LOUIS – The family of Markell Byrd says the 30-year-old, who was gunned down Monday, describes their loved one as a hard-working bus driver who wanted to provide the best for his five children.

Byrd’s family is asking for prayers, support, and answers.

“I can’t make sense of it,” LaTarsha Tate, Byrd’s mother, said.

Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Kossuth Monday night after the department’s ShotSpotter system detected gunfire. Byrd was found dead and homicide detectives are investigating.

“I do know he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” Ciara LePool, Bell’s aunt, said.

Byrd was a Ranken Technical College graduate and a bus operator for Metro Transit. Tate said her son was a dedicated family man who loved bringing joy to others.

“He is the epitome of a hardworking man, a family man with integrity who was always trying to do the right thing,” said Tate. “He’s special.”

Charles Stewart, Metro Transit’s chief operating officer, offered the following statement after learning of Byrd’s murder:

“We are shocked and saddened to learn about the tragic death of one of our team members, MetroBus operator Markell Byrd, when he was off duty last (Monday) night. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and work friends. They are in our thoughts as they face this heartbreaking loss.”

Tate said her son believed in putting family first and was part of regular family gathering that included watching football games and sharing dinners. She said family members are now rallying together to help support the children Byrd leaves behind.

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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