Photographer talks about powerful photo taken of toddler standing inside St. Louis homicide scene

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ST. LOUIS - They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  But a recent picture taken by a photojournalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is leaving many people speechless.

The photo was taken Monday afternoon at the scene of a homicide at the Peabody Housing Complex just south of Downtown.

Photojournalist David Carson captures a toddler, wearing only a diaper and socks, standing in the middle of the scene surrounding by crime scene tape and evidence markers. "It's sad for the mother who lost a child, it's sad for the child that lives in the environment where people are being shot" said Carson, who's been at the Post-Dispatch for nearly two decades.

There have been three fatal shootings at the Peabody complex in just the last thirty days.  Carson's photo makes a strong statement about the continuing violence plaguing the city.

"I want people to be upset when they see this photo, because it makes me upset" Carson said.  "He lives in a world where sirens and crime scenes and police collecting casings outside of his front door is a regular event" he said.

Carson says when he snapped the photo, he thought of a piece written by Laurie Skrivan and Nancy Cambria- his colleagues at the Post-Dispatch -that explored traumatic toxic stress and the long last effects violence can have on young people.

"You think about adults and it being rough on adults you can only imagine the impact that this has on children" Carson said.  "How can a two-year-old process that a man you know was shot and killed outside of his front steps" he asked.

Carson's job takes him to the front lines of wherever news may be.  On Tuesday, he was at a triple shooting near Goodfellow and Sherry.  With every story, he takes with him the responsibility to always show the bigger picture... A picture that lasts long after the headlines fade.

"The city is not just all violence and crime" Carson said.  "There are lighthearted moments, there are funny moments, there are good people... we do have a problem with gun violence but that's not the only thing the city is about" he said.

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