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Chief Hayden says low-level drug deals are adding to gun violence

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden is addressing the public’s concerns after six men were killed in the last six days.

Hayden said the homicides all had one common denominator: they appeared to stem from drug activity.

Last Wednesday, three men were killed on Plover near Interstate 70 in north St. Louis. Three more apparent drug-related killings followed: one man killed at Goodfellow and Lillian, one on Murphy Park near downtown, and one person killed early Sunday on North Florissant.

The killings appeared to have been transactions involving heroin/fentanyl or marijuana, he said. The chief is worried that, all too often, the public turns a blind eye to low-level drug activity, thinking of it as a minor crime.

As we’ve seen again these past six days, guns are often involved. Guns are too often game-changers.

The department's drug enforcement unit gets results when it has good information, Hayden said, with 40 arrests, 61 drug packages, and 40 firearms seized so far this year.

The chief has called on people to report suspicious activity. They can do so anonymously using the SLMPD mobile app or by calling CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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