ST. LOUIS – It’s hard to tell a place of learning has turned into chunks of glass, leftover trash, and dried blood.
Lauren Young has operated Inspire Young Tutoring for the last six years in leased office space inside the building near Washington Avenue and 14th Street.
“My office is completely devastated. It’s just gone,” she said. “I have nowhere to go to implement instruction anymore.”
Young said she’s been warning the landlord about security concerns in the weeks and months leading up to 10 teenagers being shot during a weekend party. One of the victims, later identified as 17-year-old Makao Moore, died. An eleventh victim, a 17-year-old female, was trampled while fleeing from the scene and suffered serious injuries to her spine, according to police.
“It’s heartbreaking what happened, but I feel like it could’ve been prevented,” Young said.
She said people would try and bypass the locked doors by propping the front and back doors open.
“They jimmy it to where they can come back in and out as they please,” she said.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Tracy said officers had only been called to the first floor of the building once before, but it was not for anything major.
While parties in short-term rentals have caught the eye of police and St. Louis City Hall before, parties in office buildings are something new.
“We were kind of surprised to see something like that, because we’ve seen short-term rentals where we’ve had problems in the past,” Tracy said.
Downtown St. Louis has been a hotspot for weekend parties that have ended in chaos in recent months. From shots fired, to fights and, now, a mass shooting.
The FOX Files has confirmed the weekend party being held was organized and promoted across social media.
“We do know this party was pre-planned. They did not give the address out. You had to direct message the organizer,” Tracy said.
St. Louis property records reveal the building’s owner is an LLC company located in Ballwin. The FOX Files has been told the building has been through numerous owners and is once again for sale.
The owner of the building has not returned FOX 2’s call for a comment.