ST. LOUIS – A 7-year-old boy is dead before heading back to school with his friends. It's the 11th child death in St. Louis it’s since June. It's drawing a cry for action from elected officials.
Mayor Lyda Krewson says she's sick and outraged, urging anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed released a statement that says, in part: "As a father of four, words cannot express how heartbroken I am for them."
Seven-year-old Xavier Usanga was shot and killed Monday, just one day before he was set to start the second grade at Clay Elementary. Dawn Usanga, Xavier’s mother, says her son had a smile that would light up any room and he will be missed. She wants the person responsible for his murder brought to justice.
“He had a big impact of lot of people in the community; he was really a great little boy,” she said.
Xavier was the youngest of 8 children and he was the only boy.
It's hard for his mother and grandmother to relive the tragic moments
“It's really bad that we have to teach our kids how to survive,” said Mary Norwood, Xavier’s grandmother.
Xavier was playing with his sisters in the backyard in the 3500 block of North 11th Street when the shots rang out.
“There was five shots first and there more shots, after that the bullets went through my son and grazed my daughter,” Dawn said.
Grief counselors were on hand at Clay Elementary School Tuesday to try and help students cope with losing their classmate. Police say a weapon was recovered from the scene but they do not have a description of the shooter.
“We have done everything we could to help our students and the tragedy with Xavier is a real tragedy,” said St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams.
Investigators say an 18-year-old was critically injured as well.
Police made a plea to the community to speak up and come forward with information.
“I know someone know who killed these kids. I know for a fact people know who is responsible. We are not getting the calls we need and no one is demanding we arrest these people,” said Major Mary Warneke, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.