Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Dutchtown shooting becomes 7th killing in St. Louis for 2020

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — There's been a seventh shooting death in St. Louis in the first 36 hours of the new year.

Police found a man suffering from a gunshot wound at around 12:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Dewey Avenue and Osceola Street, in the Dutchtown neighborhood.

EMS was called and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. St. Louis police say that homicide investigators are now handling the ongoing investigation.

“[The shooting] appears to have stemmed from a stolen and then recovered vehicle. We are not looking for any suspects at this time. We do have the individuals that were involved here,” said St. Louis Police Major Mary Warnecke.

A neighbor said the two young men involved apparently had struggled over a weapon.

They appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s, according to police. There was a 4-year-old inside one of the vehicles. The child was not hurt and was with family members.

Residents near the Dutchtown scene were growing weary, including the woman who tried to help the latest victim.

“I went over and checked his pulse to see if he even had one. I was going to do CPR,” said neighbor Jennifer Lyle. “I took one look at his face and I said, ‘Oh, he’s gone.’”

He’d been shot in the head, she said.

“Six killings so far for the new year,” said another neighbor. “This makes seven right across the street from my house. It’s unbelievable. I see the prostitution and I see the drugs but I’ve never seen a dead body this close. That’s terrible. My kids are frantic.”

2020 started off on a deadly note in St. Louis. Five people were killed and nine others wounded within a 12-hour span in separate shootings. Then three separate shootings overnight from Wednesday into Thursday killed one person and injured two more.

Not one of the seven deadly shootings of 2020 was random, Hayden said. Three weapons had been recovered from a triple homicide that came within minutes of the new year starting, he said.

The chief said he expects arrests in all of the cases and an overall downturn in gun violence in the coming year.

“It is a very tragic start to the year but I’m hoping for some of the benefits of things that were implemented from the middle to the end of the year (2019),” Chief Hayden said.  “Our task force with the US Marshals arrested 162 persons, many of whom are violent criminals, gang members. I’m hoping to reap the benefits this year in 2020 from things we did in 2019.”

We can learn from last year when Half of the close to 200 St. Louis homicides were drug-related, he said.

There was such thing as a safe drug deal, he said.  He urged residents to keep reporting suspicious behavior.

In 2019, homicides reached 194, which surpassed 2018's total of 186 homicides. There were 205 homicides in 2017. Police have encouraged anyone with information on the New Year's Day violence to contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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