ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Police are continuing to ask for help in the case of two sisters gunned down in a desolate north St. Louis neighborhood early Sunday morning. But investigators have been very tight lipped about this case. If they have a motive or suspects, they haven't made that information public.
A makeshift memorial has gone up on north Vandeventer, adjacent to the vacant lot where fifteen year old Tahnaizja Smith, and her sister, Antquonette Hale, 20, were gunned down.
But it doesn't seem to be stopping. In fact, it appears to be getting worse. The two young women are the latest victims in what the St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says is an uptick in both murders and shootings of women so far this year.
“I don’t think this instance of violence against the two sisters was random,” says Joyce. “I think it was intentionally done.”
She sees the problem in this case and many others as the availability of guns and more.
“We also need appropriate outcomes in the court system on gun cases. We can’t give people a slap on the wrist who are carrying guns illegally. We have to have a better outcome for that because those people get right back out and commit gun violence.”
Neighbors in the area where Tahnizja and Antquonette died report hearing several rounds of gunfire about 12:15 AM. That’s about the time the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match was wrapping up. Family members believe the girls, who lived in south St. Louis, may have attended a party to watch the fight.
“We got a knock at the door about 2:00 this morning and all I heard is my grandma crying outside,” the girls’ cousin, Edward Rush, said Sunday.
Gunfire in the area, unfortunately, is nothing new according to residents there. Neighbor Connie Davis says it’s a constant.
“Oh lord! Every night,” she said. “Every night. Every night. I can be there in my bed looking at TV and in the back of my yard, Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Just shooting. It’s sad.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and there may be a reward.