ST. LOUIS – Three people were struck during a shootout in St. Louis early Wednesday morning.
Police said partiers at short-term rental properties are responsible. They said they estimate more than 100 gunshots were fired after midnight.
Lt. Mathew Karnowski from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said when he arrived at the scene “individuals from two different groups were shooting at each other.”
“We’ve in the midst of recovering dozens and dozens of spent shell casings. So far, we have recovered three firearms and we have arrested two people so far,” said Karnowski.
Several shell casings were found on the streets and sidewalks later Wednesday afternoon.
Business owners woke up to their windows shot like a dentist’s office Karen J Harris DMD & Associates, which has been in business for nearly 20 years.
“We had a bullet on the couch that went through the window, I guess from someone was shooting from the balconies,” said Dr. Seve McCoy from Karen J Harris DMD & Associates.
Police said the suspects involved told investigators they were staying in short-term rental properties. Lt. Angela Dickerson from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the investigator entered one of the properties on Washington where people had been shooting from a balcony.
“Upon officers going inside, a large quantity of suspected narcotics, firearms, and several bags of narcotics manufacturing was located and seized,” said Dickerson.
Airbnb has banned parties at their short-term rentals and a corporate spokesperson said on Wednesday that the company has checked and confirmed none of its properties are responsible or tied to the shootings.
After three high-profile deaths in March, tied to short-term rental properties, Public Safety Director Dan Isom said he would work with companies on creating safer policies.
A statement from the mayor’s office about the incident read as follows:
“While downtown neighborhoods have experienced far fewer (short-term rental) parties in recent weeks, the Problem Properties Unit works with SLMPD to hold individuals accountable around this issue.”
The Board of Aldermen will also discuss the issue when it reconvenes in September.
“It’s just not monitored, especially late at night, especially on the weekends,” said McCoy. “This happened around 12:30 last night, so I can assume nobody is down here, nobody is keeping a watch over things.”
FOX 2 obtained surveillance video of the shooting. The video showed a man running along North 20th Street and Washington Avenue. The man fell after being shot next to SLMPD Headquarters.
Responding officers said they interrupted the shooters, after hearing the shots.
“Mobile Reserve Officers who were on their way back to police headquarters were able to quickly intervene in this situation and essentially their presence likely stopped further people from getting hurt,” said Karnowski.
Police said at least three people were shot, and all of them survived.