ST. LOUIS – Some downtown residents say they’re surrounding by violence and now they can see the evidence every time they leave their home.
St. Louis Police are now investigating the incident from this past weekend that began near 7th and Market streets. A group of teens reportedly began firing wildly, taking out windows of Peabody Plaza.
A downtown resident took pictures of what it looked like Sunday morning. The pictures showed two bullet holes to two different ground-level glass windows, a shot to the glass cover of the rotating entry door, and an apparent window panel shot out four stories up.
The Eakes family, who was walking by today, said it’s the second sign of violence they’ve seen in four days vacationing from Arkansas.
“After going to the arch, after seeing all that, it’s a pretty city, but we were trying to sleep in our hotel room when there was a shooting, right in the street under our hotel,” 20-year-old Connor Eakes said.
He was referring to an incident that ended Monday night. Police found a man shot to death in his car that crashed on the steps of the gateway arch.
“I worry every time we have these alarming stories of gun battles in the middle of downtown – yeah, those are seen by people outside of St. Louis,” Ward 7 Alderman Jack Coatar said.
Peabody Plaza is in Alderman Coatar’s ward. The plaza building is boarded up today on the lower floors. The fourth-floor window is now cleared of shattered glass, with only a second interior panel intact. You almost can’t tell the outer window was shot out.”
Coatar said it’s one of many shot at in recently. Others, he said, include, “The U.S. Bank Tower, it’s happened in Met Square, Laclede Gas building and some others. The list goes on.”
“Imagine if you’re living or working in one of these downtown buildings and your windows are regularly getting shot out. That’s terrifying.”
St. Louis Police Real Time Crime Center cameras may have captured what happened just before 10 PM Saturday night. A St. Louis Police incident report says officers were nearby when they heard multiple shots and saw a large group of juveniles running.
Officers reported finding an 18-year-old shot in the leg, ballistic damage to a car and four windows shot out at Peabody Plaza.
Coatar added, “If we want to secure the tax base, both in residents and the visitors and the companies in the almost 100,000 people that work downtown in pre-pandemic times, we have to keep those folks safe and have them and their company leadership feel safe coming downtown.”
Eakes and his family say they’re not afraid to return to St. Louis for another vacation, but the first stories they’ll tell about their trip here will be ones of violence.