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Alderman calls for change in St. Louis city leadership, following vigil for Mansur Ball-Bey

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A St. Louis alderman called Saturday for the city’s mayor and police chief to resign after several early-morning shootings left one man dead and three others injured in North St. Louis.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police rushed to East Obear Avenue and Emily Street just after 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Officers said a resident called for help, reporting hearing gunshots and seeing a body in an alley.

“In this case a young man died, being in the late 20s,” said police Captain Mike Sack. “Call came out...”

He had to stop our interview, because a man and woman rushed behind him begging for a positive identification of the victim.

“We need some answers, now,” said the man. “C'mon, don't do us like this.”

Captain Sack said he could not confirm the victim’s identity to the pair, because they were not blood relatives. The woman said the victim was the father of her child.

“It's always difficult to show up at any kind of scene where you have a victim, regardless of the type of crime,” Sack said.

Two other overnight shootings injured three in the city’s north side. After sunrise, and in the rainfall, people gathered for a prayer vigil at the El-Bethel Church of God in Christ.

"Oh, God! Lives need to be changed,” prayed Pastor Nelson Watts, Jr. “They need to be touched."

Those prayers for peace followed the violent night. They also pleaded for a higher-power’s help to recover from the violent protests of the officer-involved shooting death of Mansur Ball-Bey on Wednesday.

"We pray right now, in the name of Jesus,” Pastor Watts continued. “That there be a difference oh God, even as we be here today."

City police said Ball-Bey pointed a gun at officers.  St. Louis Fourth-Ward Alderman Sam Moore reacted to the preliminary autopsy report indicating the 18-year-old was shot in the back.

"I'm not surprised. There are good apples and bad apples in all bushels."

Then, he called for a change in city leadership.

"I am ready to resign, if the Mayor and the Chief resigns,” he challenged. "People are steady dying. One hundred thirty-something people (murdered) already? This is ridiculous."

A spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police pointed out that St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Sam Dotson asked the Board of Aldermen for funds to hire 160 additional officers. The bill to put the measure on the November ballot has yet to be passed by the board.

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