Mayor, police chief answer tough questions about St. Louis violence

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Hundreds of people gathered to ask the mayor and police chief of St. Louis questions during a town hall meeting to address violence in the city.

The meeting was at the Demetrious Johnson Center Thursday night.

It was organized by Hot 101.4 and Old School 95.5.

Several parents of murdered children were at the meeting.

Last week a nine-year-old boy was shot to death while he was in his father's SUV. His mother was too distraught to speak during the meeting.

A total of 56 people have been murdered in St. Louis in 2013. However, the police chief said people have to "put that number in perspective."

"We had ten more homicides at this time last year," Chief Sam Dotson said. "We recently had a surge of ATF agents on the street and that has took more than 200 criminals of the streets.

Dotson also said that having more town hall meetings would "engage the community" and help curb crime.

It's something Rochelle Hearn-Cook hopes happens. Her 18-year-old daughter was shot to death last year.

"She was three weeks away from going to college," she said. "Someone was trying to shoot some boy, but they shot her in the face."

The mayor also said lawmakers in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. needed to do more about guns on the streets.

"They are doing nothing," Mayor Francis Slay Said.