12-year-old shot in St. Louis the latest example of children caught in the crossfire

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ST. LOUIS – More than 10 people were shot in St. Louis Thursday night, including a 12-year-old girl in the Walnut Park West neighborhood of north city.

The girl survived after being grazed in her head by a bullet. She was sitting in a car in front of her house in the 5700 block of Era Avenue. She is the latest in a string of children shot in St. Louis.

People living nearby said they’re not surprised.

“It breaks my heart,” said grandmother Katie Chandler.

Chandler stood with her three grandkids on the front porch, just down the road from where a 16-year-old was shot and killed last month.

“You worry about them when they’re not in front of the house or in the house,” she said.

Chandler talked about three of her relatives who’ve been shot. She said two of them died. Then she described a fatal shooting right outside her home.

“Shot right out in front of my house. People just drive by and start shooting and don’t think who might be out – a child or something,” she said.

Chandler’s 11-year-old granddaughter, Janiaya Hubbard, said she nearly encountered a gun at her school.

“Some of the little kids had seen a gun at the red playground,” Hubbard said. “At first one of them was about to pick it up at first but then one of them said no we’re not supposed to pick it up. We’re supposed to tell a teacher and they went to go tell a teacher.”

In June, four children died in five days in St. Louis shootings.

Sixteen-year-old Myiesha Cannon was shot in the head sitting on her front porch.

That same week, 16-year-old Jashon Johnson was shot on Allen near Jefferson Avenue in south St. Louis.

The next night, 3-year-old Kennidi Powell and a 6-year-old were shot on Michigan Avenue in south city. Powell died in that shooting.

Two days later, 11-year-old Charnija Keys was shot in the head inside her home on North 20th Street.

Shootings are so common, Chandler said it gives her family a different feeling about July 4.

“Some of (the fireworks) were sounding like gunshots and even my grandson was saying, ‘Granny, that’s a gunshot,’” she said.

You can help solve these crimes by calling CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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