ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Police are looking for the drivers of two vehicles, both of whom are accused of hitting a man crossing Broadway June 28th, then running from the scene.
Bapi Gupta, 50, was leaving the Broadway Oyster bar about 2:30 that Sunday morning. Surveillance video released by police shows a black Mercedes and a reddish vehicle, possibly a Jeep driving toward him. The Mercedes passed the other vehicle on the right, and that’s when police say it hit Gupta. Then, witnesses say, the other vehicle hit him too.
Gupta’s mother, Genie Dee, got word of the accident at her home in California, but wasn’t’ certain how bad it was.
“I think the first day was the hardest because I couldn’t see my son,” she said. “I didn’t have a sense of how serious was this? Of course you always thing you will go there, and they will recover and you’ll be with them again, and it just wasn’t to be.”
Friends of Gupta describe him as the life of the party. His Facebook page contains countless pictures, many of them selfies, of him with people in various restaurant, night clubs, and bars. He’s described as extremely popular among those frequenting night spots downtown and in Soulard.
Those friends find it difficult to believe one person would run someone down and leave, let alone two.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable, number one to do it to somebody that I care about as a friend. Then just another blemish on our city, the way that people act. I wonder who raised ‘em? I mean how in the world do they have any morals or any moral compass at all,” Jake Eldridge said.
It is the second time since 2012 someone leaving the Broadway Oyster Bar has been killed crossing that stretch of Broadway near Gratiot. In the last incident, Amber Wood, 25, died of her injuries. It happened in almost exactly the same spot, and the driver in that case also ran. Eric Peterson, 29 at the time, was arrested in connection with the case ten days later.
Ever since then, owner John Johnson of the Broadway Oyster Bar has been working to get changes made.
“We’re trying to get the speed limit lowered. Trying to get some signage up. We’re trying to get some police presence down here to pull over some of the people who are speeding, ticket them.”