Program Trying To Stop Gun Violence In St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A 22-year-old woman, a 17-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old girl remain hospitalized after a beating and shooting Sunday night on Hodiamont Street on the city's north side.

The woman was beaten unconscious and then shot, the two girls were also shot.

This is the latest incident of gunfire involving women and girls. Saturday night a 17-year-old girl was shot in the back on her porch. Thursday night a 20-year-old woman and 16-year-old girl were murdered near Gravois Park on the south side.  Police say gun violence is spiking in the city. Those trying to stop it say none of this is new.

The gunmen apparently had no second thoughts about opening fire on young women and girls.

Programs throughout the city are trying to stop the bloodshed.

Better Family Life is targeting those kids with a program called “Put Down The Pistol.” It tries to provide job leads. It tries to tell them using a gun isn't the answer. But it's often a hard sell.

St. Louis' violent crime rate remains four times the national average, a toxic combination of culture and poverty.

Getting to the young shooters before they pull the trigger may be as simple and as complicated as giving them the support they never got from their parents and the opportunities they never feel they'll get.