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St. Louis ties 2016 murder total with more than a month left in 2017

ST. LOUIS – With 38 days left in the year, the murder count for the City of St. Louis has reached 188 victims – the same number recorded for all of 2016.

The recent violence has kept detectives very busy.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis City NAACP, said the homicide rate crisis is alarming.

“Looks like we are going to exceed the numbers from last year,” Pruitt said. “It’s extremely troubling."

Three reported homicides on Thanksgiving pushed the city’s murder rate to 188.

Pruitt said that number should be a wake-up call for elected officials to address issues immediately.

“And the longer they wait to act, the more lives will be lost,” Pruitt said.

Not only are the numbers across the country disturbing, but the causes for those numbers are the same; and, in most cases, the victims are African-American.

“Males in their prime age being snuffed out across the country,” Pruitt said.

One man was shot and killed around 9:30 a.m. Thursday on Burd Avenue at Maffitt Avenue in north city. Then around 4:45 p.m., another man was found dead on Hebert Street at Belt Avenue. The violence continued well into the evening. Around 7:30 p.m., a man was found shot to death on Quincy street at Loughborough avenue in South St. Louis.

Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said St. Louis is reflecting a national increase in homicide rates. Pruitt agrees.

“When they wanted NGA, police came together, muscled all the resources to make it happen and they come up with all type of resources,” Pruitt said. “We need the same set of people in the community (to) come together and deal with this issue once and for all.”

Pruitt also said getting rid of gun violence is no easy task and the community must continue to work with police to try and find solutions.